Termites, Please Come To My House!

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

 

These days, when you buy a brick house, it is not built the same way as was a brick house 40 years ago, or so.

In "the olden days" the brick work was structural.  The wood framing inside the house was attached into the brick walls.

In today's construction the structure of the house is the wood framing, with a brick facade on the outside.  And this brick is separated from the wood framing by an inch or two of space to allow for moisture removal.  It is attached to the house with small straps which are nailed onto the studs and anchored between the courses of bricks.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Often these brick facades begin on top of wood forms.  And sometimes, when they back fill around the house, they leave these forms in place.

How do I know this?  Because one or two years later, after the poorly compacted and back filled soil has settled, these forms are revealed.  And not being of pressure-treated wood, they are termite invitations!  Right to the edge of the house!

On this new construction many forms were still in place.  Wanting to make sure they were removed I pointed this potential problem out to my clients.  Of course the supervisors always say that they remove these forms.  And maybe they intend to.  But sometimes not!

A termite does not need much of a crack to get into a house.  Depending on the termite specie, a gap of 1/32" to 1/64" is enough to get them inside!

My recommendation:  It sounds like a little thing, but probably it is not.  If you are building a new house, or have a client that is, check for wood left attached to the house, or even lying around, and make sure it is removed.

Posted by

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


close

Re-Bloggged 10 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Yvette Chisholm 03/16/2010 05:39 AM
  2. Donald Bradbury 03/16/2010 05:46 AM
  3. Jackie Connelly-Fornuff 03/16/2010 06:05 AM
  4. Roy Kelley 03/16/2010 06:08 AM
  5. June Piper-Brandon 03/16/2010 06:41 AM
  6. Karin Smith 03/16/2010 06:58 AM
  7. Gabe Sanders 03/16/2010 07:42 AM
  8. Maureen McCabe 03/18/2010 02:02 AM
  9. Jenna Dixon 03/18/2010 09:17 AM
  10. Diane Williams 04/06/2010 03:59 PM
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the tree to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Adventures in Home Inspecting
Professional Home Inspectors
The Vent
Tags:
brick construction
termite damage
new construction inspections

Comments 62 New Comment

Rainer
22,295
Richard Johnston
San Fernando Valley - RE/MAX Grand Central

Thanks for sharing Jay!

March 17, 2010 03:53 AM
Rainmaker
1,167,817
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

An - I feel the same way!  We change our book every 14 or 16 months or so.  New stuff...

Vickie - it's a good idea, with a reputable company.

Richard - it is amazing how often I see the forms years later when the soil has settled.

Christine - termites are problems no matter the style of house.  But don't invite them!

Vickie - crawl spaces are another place where people leave a lot of invitations, you are right.

Richard - I will when I can!

March 17, 2010 04:38 AM
Rainmaker
325,145
Esko Kiuru

Jay,

This kind thing probably happens more than most imagine. That's why an inspection is a must for the average citizen. That looks like a termite buffet in the picture.

March 17, 2010 03:42 PM
Rainmaker
109,311
Connie Johns
Toledo, Ohio Area Real Estate
Transaction Realty

Excellent advice about not leaving a banquet out for the tiny creatures.  Just today I had an underwriting stip that read "have pest inspector reinspect and give assurance that wood in crawlspace has been removed"  Guess who will be in the crawlspace tomorrow removing wood scraps?

March 18, 2010 12:38 AM
Rainmaker
1,167,817
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Esko - I am sure this is a very often occurrence.  Why feed them?

Connie - how fun is that!  I feel your pain.

March 18, 2010 04:07 AM
Rainmaker
1,167,817

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
You may contact me anytime...
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the robot to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information

An experienced home inspector's look at current home inspection events and conditions along with his useful recommendations.