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  1. #1
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    Default Holes in collar ties

    I was inspecting a house in MA and noticed from an attic hatch several collar ties that had pencil eraser sized holes in them. The damage looked as if it was confined to the collar ties. Didn't see any of the same holes on sheathing or rafters. Insect damage of some sort?

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  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Holes in collar ties

    Old house borers or powder post beetles?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Holes in collar ties

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Old house borers or powder post beetles?
    The house was built in 1965. I originally thought PPB but the holes seemed too big.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Holes in collar ties

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Old house borers or powder post beetles?
    Thanks Jerry,
    looks like old house borer.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Holes in collar ties

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dorney View Post
    Didn't see any of the same holes on sheathing or rafters. Insect damage of some sort?
    If you see no powdered wood around the openings it is probably not the work of a beetle. Beetles leave a bit of wood behind when they emerge. I think they stop eating to do some mating and flying, so you see the crumbs left behind.

    If that was here on the West Coast I would suspect the holes were in the wood when they built the house. We get holes like that in logs that were kept in the salt water too long before milling. We would see similar holes in planks with chalky deposits inside from the Toredo worm, which is actually a salt water mollusc. I think you have them there on the East Coast as well. The old fishermen would tie their boats up a river to kill the worms. Google it if you don't believe me.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Holes in collar ties

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    If that was here on the West Coast I would suspect the holes were in the wood when they built the house. We get holes like that in logs that were kept in the salt water too long before milling. We would see similar holes in planks with chalky deposits inside from the Toredo worm, which is actually a salt water mollusc. I think you have them there on the East Coast as well. The old fishermen would tie their boats up a river to kill the worms. Google it if you don't believe me.
    That's why they wrap pilings with plastic/vinyl/PVC/whatever-it-is to a depth below the anticipated low water line and to above the anticipated high water line - otherwise those worms will eat the pilings down to nothing.

    If the pilings aren't too bad, they wrap the pilings and pour in concrete grout ("grout" has an 11" slump or greater, very fine, if any, aggregate and flows into all the holes and the wrap. When it cures, the piling is concrete (grout) reinforced and will last a very long time).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Holes in collar ties

    The holes are from a beetle infestation in the tree. You can tell that by the way some holes are at an angle to the surface. Looks like rough sawn lumber. We would not see that around here in a house built in 1965.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Holes in collar ties

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    The holes are from a beetle infestation in the tree.
    That's not saw dust in them there holes, partner ... (sorry, just re-watched part of Blazing Saddles again last night).

    Parts of Blazing Saddles reminded me of Airport and other movies with Leslie Nielsen because of all the puns and plays on words.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Holes in collar ties

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    The holes are from a beetle infestation in the tree. You can tell that by the way some holes are at an angle to the surface. Looks like rough sawn lumber. We would not see that around here in a house built in 1965.
    The fact some came out at an angle, combined with the size, eliminates powder post beetles and frames them perfectly for old house borers. They is old house borers. Add to that where the house is, MA, Bingo, we have a winner.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Holes in collar ties

    (sorry, just re-watched part of Blazing Saddles again last night).

    "What in the wild wild world of sports is going on here?"

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Holes in collar ties

    I would not rule out shot gun damage.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Holes in collar ties

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Miller View Post

    "What in the wild wild world of sports is going on here?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    I would not rule out shot gun damage.
    Not sure if we need lab samples or urine samples.

    Them was toredo worms.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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