A “fireplace bollard” is something like a “muffler belt.”
Can you see what is wrong?
Yes, there is a cactus in the bird cage. What is wrong with that?
No—-the fireplace is not eating the hassock. Yes there is a little burn mark on the floor where the corner of the hearth points to. (That is what happens when you set a hot fireplace screen on wood—–but not the answer I am looking for.)
No—-nothing wrong with the bollard, but that is a good question—-why DOES my fireplace have a bollard?
Unfortunately when you see something like this in your home, you likely have Carpenter Ants. As they excavate the wood for their habitat they have to do something with the “frass” so it gets kicked out somewhere—-in this case there was a small hole on the underside of the window seat that was convenient for them—-sometimes they create a little hole called a “window” to kick out the debris. If you look closely at the pile of debris it will be distinguished from regular sawdust by containing other particulate—-including body parts of Carpenter Ants.
In this case you can’t just go to the hardware store and buy a can of “Antaway” and be good to go. You have to call the Pest Control Operator and have the whole house treated for Carpenter Ants. Not that big of a deal really and way cheaper than letting them continue to eat your house.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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