What I'm Seeing Now

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The Leaning Alcove

Not entirely described in the photograph, I noticed the leaning alcove from the outside. 

Then, when indoors, the floor going toward the door had a definite slope to it.

It is perched on a deck. It appeared to have been built much later than the house.

There can be only one reason why it would lean so much.

It lacks support.  But why?

Resting on a deck, which was built very near to the ground, and in a shady yard, rot would be an issue.

And even termites. 

If termites are attracted to the deck, they would therefore be attracted to the house. 

But being so close to the ground how could I see underneath?

Going to the edge of the deck, scraping away soil and brush, and reaching my camera underneath, I snapped a photo.

It would give me an idea of what I could see.

Seeing it, I could determine the better camera position and took a few more to try to get something descriptive of what the alcove was resting on.

My guess was right!  Rot, and, obviously, termites!  The alcove had, and will continue to have, serious problems!

From my position at the edge of the deck I noticed a receptacle box.

Knowing that termites are attracted to electricity I though I'd look!

Wow!  It was full of mud.

It has been known that insects seem attracted to electricity.  It is unknown why.  Perhaps the wavelength of the electricity appeals to them.  Or the warmth.

But this box was infested!  An apparent termite condo where they all go to relax between trips to the deck and house.

My recommendation:  moisture is always an invitation to other problems.  Biology works!  Fungi has its own taxonomic kingdom!  A kingdom is the largest category for the biological classification of living things.  There are only five.  Another is Animalia, into which fit the termites.  It's been calculated that termites outweigh humans!  (many animal species apparently do)  Given that, why invite them toward or into the house?  I think if I was an alcove I would want to lean away from termites and not toward them!

 

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 9 commentsJay Markanich • April 08 2016 03:59AM

Comments

Good morning Jay. Those termites know how to have a good time at your expense! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 3 years ago

Party animals, Wayne!  Truly.

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

I see wood touching earth all too often! Think people, think!

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

This looks like the alcove has been there a while, Fred.  Know wood was so close to wood I would think the termite guy could have been called to provide some prophylactic help, at the least.

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

LOL... that might be interesting.

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

Are those extra boards in the picture an attempt to prop things up until they sell the property?  If so, they know the severity of the problem and probably the cost to repair it too.  Your inspection just saved them thousands of dollars.  Well done.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 3 years ago

I think the sellers are responsible for any termite damage once a termite inspection is rendered Stephen.  But this documents it and notifies the seller of the condition.  Yes, this will be thousands of dollars.

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

Thank you very much, Jay, for sharing your experience and your photographs.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 3 years ago

Thank you Roy.  I appreciate the comment.

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

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