Purchased and older home 8 months ago, built in 1959. I noticed a very large crack recently in some old paint, about 10” long. As I started pulling it away from the wall, the paper is no longer attached to the gypsum. There are many holes in it, could termites have done this and why is it only in a 2’ section? In the area I see no signs of live insects of any kind. The surface looks like a flat Canyon (won’t let me upload image). Could it be an old issue since the pest report came back clean?

drywall damage

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    Almost always water damage (need not be recent water damage, could be decades old and perfectly dry now.) Pictures, please for any hope of a reasonable answer. Load them to imgur and edit to put the links in, one of us can edit them inline and you'll get upvoted! – Ecnerwal Dec 11 '17 at 19:29
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    What are "drywall... insects" ? When did you last see them? Perhaps you meant, What happened to my drywall? Could it have been insects? – Alaska Man Dec 11 '17 at 21:38
  • Insects in drywall???? Only in a 2’ Section???? Hmmm...do you have an 8 year old with a new drill/toy??? – Lee Sam Dec 12 '17 at 1:01
  • Here is the image, thanks for the heads up on how to post it. imgur.com/gallery/FsnpC?s=sms – Don Schaudt Dec 12 '17 at 1:49
  • The photo is difficult to interpret. There's no sense of scale and the lighting is flat so I can't see any depth. It looks like surface staining. – isherwood Dec 12 '17 at 4:07

Yes - termites will do that. They will go anywhere there is moisture, and eat any cellulose products along the way. They will tunnel through Sheetrock and plaster. They will even eat the paper under the paint, and tunnel through the paint, to any wooden furniture or cardboard boxes, etc, against the wall.

If the moisture issue has been corrected, and/or the house treated, then they have most likely vacated or died. That doesn't mean that they won't come back though - usually entire neighborhoods are infested, and they are managed, but never completely eradicated.

  • Gotta give this a + because of the moisture and bugs, termites, carpenter ants and other kinds of rot cause all kinds of problems – Ed Beal Dec 13 '17 at 2:22
  • Not sure if it’s relevant, but I live in north Florida. The dark areas are not a wood, but if I rub it, it crumbles and falls off. – Don Schaudt Dec 13 '17 at 6:00
  • Not really - they inhabit most of the US; more so, the further south you go. The crumbs are dirt, termite feces, or both, and one of the key signs of current or past infestation. – tahwos Dec 13 '17 at 11:16
  • Thanks for all the help. I’ll remove the sheet of drywall and have a pest inspector over while it’s down. – Don Schaudt Dec 15 '17 at 22:14
  • Welcome. That's a good idea; probably wouldn't hurt, to have the whole house inspected either. – tahwos Dec 17 '17 at 0:01

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