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