Posted by John Fasoldt on 9:11:58 2/25/2011 from 220.127.116.11:
In reply to: Ant Frass from Cathedral Ceiling posted by Dave on 19:04:44 2/24/2011 from 18.104.22.168:
Actually, houses like that, with a roof like that, shouldn't have ANY roof insulation... Yeah, I know, I can see everybody's eyebrows popping up after that statement. But it's the truth. Yes, it allows heat to escape better, but that can also be better for you, if not your pocketbook. It means that there is less condensation, less of a snow load if you get a lot of snow, and another thing you probably won't have is ants - and even if you do, it will be easier to rectify. The ants, BTW, might not even be CAs. ALL kinds of ants would like a substrate like that to live in. And a ‘better sealed' house might not be the answer. Might even make it worse. You will need to distribute the air at the top of the ceiling, a ceiling fan or two can help with that. But study that first - you need to place them effectively.
I wasn't familiar with Polyiso, I had to Google it. It's another one of the closed-cell foams that are used for insulation. As far as the ants are concerned, they're all the same thing. And all are equally at risk for this same problem.
VACANT IS NOT GOOD
If your home sat vacant for awhile, this might have helped the ants - stratifying air and moisture in an unoccupied house often has the right combination of natural events to initiate the influx of these little guys. And you might never see these ants. They'll be perfectly happy staying right where they are.
WHAT TO DO?
Hmmmmm. Like you say, another 20 large would hurt, I'm sure. So, I guess, for now, that's off the table. And being winter, there isn't a whole lot you can do on the outside. You didn't mention if you had consulted with any exterminators as yet. I think you will have to, unfortunately. My advice would be to skip the biggies, if you have read any of my posts here, you will see I say it many times. You will need a GOOD, HONEST exterminator - sometimes a difficult animal to find. You won't find it with any of the biggies, you'll get a salesman.
Naturally, I don't know what your house looks like and that hampers me a bit. Even a picture only helps a little, I find personal visits are best of all. So you need a local guy to come out and assess the situation.
I think, at the very least, when spring comes, you should contract for an inside/outside treatment with Termidor/Phantom. If the exterminator doesn't know what you're talking about, or pushes something else, call someone else. You will need someone with EXPERIENCE using these two chems. There are a few intricacies about using this combination, if you don't do it right it won't work. If you do, it will be like a miracle.
I had one like yours I did a few years ago with the same problem, although the roof was not a 70 degree pitch. The ceiling was some 30 feet high, we had him erect a scaffold on wheels, and I treated sections of the ceiling while they pushed me around the place while I was up on the scaffold. (Ask me if that was scary....) As it worked out, that was all we had to do - I don't believe they have had a problem since.
You said Pacific northwest. Where, exactly, are you? (City, state)
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