What I'm Seeing Now

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Too Close Is Too Close

Wood siding should be 4-6" from the soil, as too close is too close.

When it's too close to the soil wood siding becomes an invitation to moisture (and therefore rot) and termites.

Termites are looking for wet wood.  That's their objective.  Eating it and returning to the colony is their job!

And they are good at it.

Looking at the photo to the far right, the green algae is evident, the mushy wood is evident, and moisture retention is evident, and in the center, highlighted by the cropped section, termite damage is evident.

Are they active?  THAT is another inspection yet to happen.

If I was to see a 40 pound termite today, it would be said, "He's only the home inspector.  The termite inspector will come another time."

So I merely observe and report!  And photograph when needed.

My recommendation:  there were many areas on this house where the lower sided areas had been replaced.  And for a reason!  So why not solve the problem permanently by removing the siding from the soil, or the soil from the siding?  That way, as they say, no harm, no foul!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 13 commentsJay Markanich • June 25 2015 02:52AM

Comments

Good morning Jay. I see this quite often myself. I really get bitched at for pointing this out by agents.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 3 years ago

It's not just wood siding but hardiplank too from what I understand that can't be that close to the dirt. 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) almost 3 years ago

Good morning Jay.  I for one appreciate it when an inspector takes the time to point out an issue that could later become a problem.  Just keep on doing what you do best as I know you will

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) almost 3 years ago

This was all around the house, Michael, with small patches here and there.  Useless...

Lise - very true.  The termites love the cellulose in the Hardiplank mix.

James - this is a problem now, later, and much later.  And the longer the termites are eating, the more the problem will grow.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Jay, I love it when home inspectors point this out...it is a home saver!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

It really is Ginny.  It does not take long for very serious damage to happen.

I even point it out when it's vinyl siding.  The termites can simply get behind and begin on the nearest wood, totally hidden.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

That doesn't look good.  Oh, and I didn't realize that about Hardiplank.  Good to know.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 3 years ago

Those little holes in the siding in the left photo look like little doors for termites.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 3 years ago

Hardi absorbs water readily Debbie, which is why they have distances built into all their applications where it abuts anything.  But the termites love it to.

Myrl - they are what happens when termites eat to the outside edge.  They usually leave a thin film of material, but over time it disappears, leaving holes.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Yummy.... wood! I saw a home where the termites were eating their way up the paper on drywall, left streaks behind the couch, the owner had no idea what was happening. The baseboards were just a shell of their former selves!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 3 years ago

Fred - I got an honorable mention in 7th grade for my Science Fair project - seashells.  I laid out my collection on the table too.  They were all just shells of their former selves.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

I'll take a 2 foot section of concrete showing above grade any day.  It may not look pretty but it's so functional

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 3 years ago

That would be a lot, Ed, but I agree with you!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

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