Old Fashioned Protection, What Is It?

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

copper protectorIt can be funny to come across a product or component from "back in the day". Seeing something that was state of the art at the time and now it seems so ridiculous in the modern light. Time marches on, knowledge increases and therefore change is as inevitable as the sunrise.

Here is an old and silly component I find from time to time. It's the copper sheet at the top of the block wall in the photo. This sheet is installed along the entire perimeter of home over the top of the foundation walls.

Can you guess its purpose?

 

 

James Quarello
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

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Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Rainmaker
174,893
Kate Kate
San Diego, CA

To guard against soil corrosion?

Nov 16, 2009 08:34 AM #1
Rainmaker
342,754
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi James ~ Isn't it to keep mice, etc. from running around? Hey - if it works - I'm in!

Liz

Nov 16, 2009 09:05 AM #2
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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Hi Jim, that would be a "copper top foundation" allows the house to run on batteries forever, also works as a lightning rod. There is a copper wire attached to the copper top foundation that runs over to the neighbors house that does NOT have a copper top foundation. During a good thunderstorm it allows the home owner to sit on the porch and watch the neighbors house light up like a Christmas tree.

HOW THE HECK WOULD I KNOW????

:D

Nov 16, 2009 09:16 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,316,008
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

James, Andrea had me going there for a while...maybe she's not too far off...could it have anything to do with protecting the wood against termites.

Nov 16, 2009 09:53 AM #4
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Kate, Nope

Liz, You're on the right track.

Andrea, I give you an "A" for an imaginative and funny answer.

Nick, You're right! Nice job.

That is a termite sheild. Usually they are some other type of metal like aluminum, not copper. This was a higher end home so I guess that's why it had a fancy copper termite shield.

Do they work? Nope we found termites in this home and have in other homes with these shields.

Nov 16, 2009 11:22 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,316,008
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

James, it seemed to make some sense that they would consider it effective as a termite sheild...but it really was just a guess...I really liked Andreas answer better. 

Ready for the next one... 

Nov 16, 2009 01:36 PM #6
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Nick, You were right guess or no guess and I liked Andreas answer better too.

Nov 16, 2009 09:59 PM #7
Rainmaker
233,467
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Good info James.  I've never seen anything like it.

Nov 16, 2009 10:39 PM #8
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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

I came back to see what I had won, LOL. Well, now I know the whole truth, I am depressed I didn't win, but glad to know that I will now appear to be even SMARTER during the next home inspection! Thanks for the A... :D

Nov 16, 2009 11:54 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,528,211
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Get out!  I like the lightning rod story best.

Nov 17, 2009 02:07 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,844,065
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Think coming upward from below people!

What comes up from below?

Nov 17, 2009 08:41 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,844,065
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Yesterday's blog was about going down, this about coming up and the next about growing out.

What's next!?

Nov 17, 2009 08:42 AM #12
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Reuben, As I recall you don't have termites in MN so you probably have never seen the old termite shield.

Andrea, Your answer is much more popular than the correct answer.:)

Lyn, So do I.

Jay, I believe I've covered the three dimensions. Hmmm perhaps the fourth dimension.

Nov 17, 2009 10:00 PM #13
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James Quarello

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