Should I Remove Wood Touching Dirt Floor

Should you remove old wood touching concrete or dirt floor in a crawl space or basement? Is it a termite attractor?

“I have a house built in 1947 that’s on the water in Long Island, NY. There are old wood planks (2×4) in the middle of the main area of the foundation floor. Wondering if I should pull these out to prevent termite attraction and fill with gravel or if it’s just as well to keep them.” ~ Jeremy of Merrick, NY

Does Wood Touching Soil Attract Termites?

There are many types of termites. Some like dry wood while others like damp wood. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (, Subterranean termites are the most common termites found in the United States. And boy do they love it when wood is touching the soil in your basement or crawl space.

Wood used as forms when pouring concrete should be removed immediately, but if you discover any wood under the crawl space vapor barrier remove it as well. We have seen wood installed in basement floors between slab pours. That wood should be removed and replaced with more concrete or gravel and concrete. Also never use wood as a floor support without installing it on a ground contact approved footer.

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