Do I Have Carpenter Ants?

Jonathan writes: I have been finding little piles of wood shavings on my backyard deck, along the bottom of the exterior wall of the house (see photo). Does this look like a sign of carpenter ants or termites? I suspect ants as I sometimes see large, black ants in the house. What's the best way to get rid of carpenter ants? Steve Bliss, of, responds: Wood shavings like these are most likely the work of carpenter ants. Carpenter ants excavate wood for nesting, but do … [Read more...]

Black Stains Around Windows From Flashing Tape

Bill writes: We are having an issue with our 13-year-old house where it appears that the flashing membrane material has leaked out along the edges of our windows. This leakage appears black and we cannot figure out what else it could be. Since we are planning on replacing all the front windows of the house that face the summer sun, we are looking for other materials to use so we do not have this issue in the future. Hope you can tell us if our thoughts are correct. Steve Bliss, of … [Read more...]

Leakproof Window Flashing

Sally asks: What is the best way to flashing around a window? Is the flashing part of the window or the building exterior? Also, should there be a flashing above the window to divert water away? Steve Bliss of, responds: Water leakage around windows is one of the biggest problems in modern home construction, but you may not notice the problems until years later when hidden water damage shows up at stains, wood decay, or peeling paint (see photo). So careful installation by … [Read more...]

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