Q. We are repairing an oak strip floor. Several boards obviously need to be replaced because of visible termite damage. Is there some way to evaluate the unseen damage to the rest of the floor?

A. Oak seems to be one of termites’ favorite foods, and they will go to great lengths to reach it. About all you can do is probe the wood with a sharp object. I use a small screwdriver, sticking it into the summer wood (the light-colored grain). If termites infested the floor boards, they will have eaten the summer wood and not the dense, darker grain. Termites generally follow the length of the board rather than working across the grain. If the board will support the screwdriver blade without crushing or splitting, it should be strong enough to survive without replacement. Even spike heels will not equal the pressure of the screwdriver blade.