Sometimes, as a home inspector, you have to look behind.
And that isn't always easy.
You have to look behind what?
In this case, a lot!
The laundry closet in this house is in the basement under the entry stairs.
There is enough head clearance, at least where the washer and dryer are located. But under the entry way platform it is only about 4' high.
But the water main is there, against the front wall! I like to see it.
And you have to look behind.
What is between the washer/dryer and the water main? And what else might a home inspector find?
Well, if he climbs over the washer/dryer.
And steps over the boxes beside the water heater.
And maneuvers around a few more boxes and other homeowner storage.
And twists upside down.
And shines his flashlight upward...
Why all that?
Because the termite guys tell me that around here 90% of the time termites get into the house under the front door.
Because typically in front of the door there is solid material - a stoop, concrete stairs, a porch, etc. - which provides a constantly-dark, moist, temperature-controlled place for termites to investigate locations to get into the house to eat.
What do they eat? Wood. They eat to return to the queen to provide her food. Her job is to provide more termites. Their job is to find more food to eat. So they can return to the queen. So she can provide more termites.
And the beat goes on. 24/7/365.
I understand a termite needs only 1/64" to get in! That's a pretty narrow crack! And if they find it they will exploit it.
Sometimes I find wood rot under the front door. But sometimes I find termite evidence!
Do you see the termite tunnel in that photo? To the comment (and photo) on my report it will be said, "He is only the home inspector. The termite inspection will evaluate that for real."
I could see a 40 pound termite and they would not believe me.
Fine. Evaluate away. But I wonder (if there was no home inspection report and photo) if a termite inspection would have gone over the river and through the woods as I did to see what I saw.
My recommendation: sometimes you have to go over the river and through the woods. Sometimes you have to look behind. And have a good look! You don't know what you might find.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560