Can you post some photos? Not really sure what you mean by top plate?
Assuming you can get to it easily, cut the nails then cut the wood out and replace it.
Keith, if your speaking of the top plate that supports the roof and attic framing, You need to support the damaged area and lift it ever so slightly and as Kathy said, then cut it out and replace it. Sheetrock wall will need to be cut away as well so you can access this area.
If your speaking of the sill plate on top of the foundation, you need to support the joists if its the one that they rest on, cut it out and hammer in new one. In some cases when we do these because of termite damage, we remove the outside siding and rim joist as it is easier in many cases to access the plate from there then in the basement.
The piece I am referring to is the top beam of the wall that supports the garage wall that separates the work shop from the garage.
This is a picture of the damaged beam.
Photo did not come through. Try try again! Thanks. will be looking for it.
Let me know if this picture came through.
I am not sure why the pictures were not coming through but I believe they are there now. The first one is the deterriorated piece and the other one is what it looked like when it was in good condition.
Got them. The first photo shows carpenter ant damage, or perhaps termite, its hard to tell if there is any mud in the galleys of the wood. If dried up dirt is located in the wood damage you have termites there and they need to be treated., Same with carpenter ants treatment wise, however it is evident that there was also a leak which attracts them in the first place. And if the leak has not be corrected that is your first project to complete.
In any case this appears to be a support beam. You need to construct a support wall on each side of this beam and if possible slightly raise the flooring above, or attic floor about a 1/16 of an inch to take the pressure off, then remove this damaged joist up to either a column that may not be seen in the wall or up to another structural wall. What ever is closest.
I would suggest because this is a structural member, or at least appears to be, that you get a carpenter that does this type of work. Not a handy man type. You can get a good reference from any local realtor in your area, as they deal with insect damage wood all the time and have a list of qualified contractors who just do this type of work.
It may look expensive to do, but experienced contractors who do nothing else but insect repair can have this project done in a few hours. While if you were to do it yourself, you may end up spending the entire weekend with this project and still many not have it done properly. Most likely your only looking at around $250 for the whole project.
Thank you for your response. I believe it was termites but they have already been taken care of before I moved in. The leak is what continued the decaying of the wood. I also had the leak taken care of. I just did not know who to contact that would not want an arm and leg to do the job. Your reply definately gave me a direction to follow. Again, thank you.