Digital ImageThis week I am to hang paper on a wall that was originally mirrored from floor to ceiling. When the glass guys removed the mirror, some areas like this were exposed. Here I am floating the wall to smooth it, but below the white smoothing compound, you can see the recessed area in the wall, and the little bitty brown specks. Can you guess what this is?

OK, well, the title gave it away. Yes, this is a sign of termites, as they chew into the drywall and leave their guano (poop) behind (the little specks). It’s an outside wall, which is where you most typically see this sort of thing. It’s probably old damage, and the house has probably been treated and the termites long gone. I have, in the past, seen live termites and their larvae inside walls!

Some of the chewed drywall is crumbly, and the guano definitely is loose, which would provide an unstable surface for the wallpaper to stick to. So I used a product called Gardz to seal the loose areas, and then am skim-floating the wall to smooth it (the white stuff). Once it’s dry, I’ll sand and prime, again using Gardz, and the wall should be good and solid for the wallpaper.

This home is in the Clear Lake area of Houston.

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