Beauty And The Beasts

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

Once in a while you can walk around a house and see something really beautiful, and hope isn't the problem you think it might be.  But try not to think out loud, something like, "We'll have to check that when we get inside."

This patio is a beauty.  It is solid.  No gaps.  No moving bricks.  No mortar deterioration. Angled slightly away from the house.

It is a beauty.

So why was I thinking out loud?

Because I am not a termite guy!  But I talk to them.  And they tell me that around here 90% of the time, when termites get into the house, they get in under a door.

Why?  The door usually comes after something solid, like a stoop or staircase, which provides a dark, damp, protected area with relatively milder temperatures.

Inside, both doors had staining on the floor molding at the corners and on the wood thresh holds under the doors.  We went to the basement.

 

 

 

Under these two doors was a conveniently unfinished storage room.

The rim joist under the doors was easily accessible.

It was not hard to pull away the paltry insulation on the rim joists (it's never enough) and look around.

I found what I feared I might find when I saw it outside.

Rotting wood and termites!  BEASTS!

And they had been there for a while!

 

 

There were eight such cavities under the doors, all infested.

This piece of insulation came off pretty easily.

It revealed a hole with lots of mud spewing out.

You see, built right on the soil, and against the house, the beautiful patio became a convenient home for termites.

And the leaky doors created an even more "conducive condition."

Termites do what termites do.

And a lot of it! 

This is a problem.

 

Here is a close up of the hole with the mud.  If this is visible, imagine what is going on that is not visible!

When building the patio, no provision was made for the fact that this patio would be a termite invitation.  Not thinking in advance, things proceeded.

AND THE TERMITES PROCEEDED TOO!  Nature is a very consistent mechanism.

 

My recommendation:  you have to think in advance.  If you don't, one way or another, nature will catch up with you and a price will be paid.  These clients think their inspector is really smart, and really "super" (their word, not mine...).  Well, not really.  Just kind of logical and experienced.  Oh, and when you hire a home inspector, pick the one who is logical and experienced.  Some things follow other things!  Follow the logic!  Your clients might just avoid a little bit of nature in the process!

 

 

 

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


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Rainmaker
1,501,406
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

What is the real difference between termites and carpenter ants. That's what we have here, and they get into ceilings / roofs more than foundations.

Mar 13, 2011 08:43 AM #75
Rainer
394,894
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Jay, I've seen this way too many times, but on the "fix this" side of things.  But not a brick patio before, so I'll keep that in mind!

Mar 13, 2011 09:05 AM #76
Rainmaker
1,826,913
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Joyce - treating around slabs is easy and probably a really good control!  Many houses here have basements and crawl spaces.

Lyn - see my answer to Chris in 49.

Marshall - my termite chart says you are termite free...  for now!

Pat - they come in great numbers when they come.  But in your area they aren't coming around the mountain.

Mar 13, 2011 09:27 AM #77
Rainmaker
1,826,913
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Gene - we are there to look around and I do!

Robert - we see the tunnels around here all the time too.  I have neve seen a swarm, but I know it happens!

Mary - in the long run that guy is probably right!  Then again, we're all dead in the long run.

I'm glad you do Angelia.  Stop by again!

Mar 13, 2011 09:30 AM #78
Rainmaker
1,826,913
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Marte - they are different species, but of the same order and genus I think.  Their modus operandi is different too!  Some of the Washington State home inspectors would know far more than I.

Jeremy - you would have had fun with this one!  A lot of repairs here!

Mar 13, 2011 09:32 AM #79
Rainmaker
153,894
Kathy Opatka
RE/MAX CROSSROADS - Ocean City, MD
Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches

There's my "learn something new every day!"  I'd have never thought of the Lil' Beasts getting the feast there!

Mar 13, 2011 09:46 AM #80
Rainmaker
1,826,913
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Kathy - they will get the feast anywhere they can!  Or are invited...

Mar 13, 2011 10:05 AM #81
Rainer
86,251
Torgie Madison
Quicksilver Real Estate Solutions, LLC - Portland, OR
Websites and Contact Management

Sometimes I feel like agents have to be experts on a little bit of everything! Here's another example of how useful it can be to be a jack-of-all-trades!

Mar 13, 2011 10:07 AM #82
Rainmaker
67,119
Brenda, Ron, Lee Cunningham & Tara Keator
West USA Realty - Phoenix, AZ
Realtors, Homes for Sale - Phoenix Metro

Great post... sneaky little creatures!

Mar 13, 2011 11:46 AM #83
Ambassador
1,292,678
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

We have more carpenter ants than termites, but not much of either lately - maybe we are too cold, nowadays....  Great post!

Mar 13, 2011 02:36 PM #84
Rainer
60,032
Dennis & Terri Neal
RE/MAX, Big Bear - Big Bear Lake, CA
Your Home Sold in 45 Days or We Se

Another post that illisturates why you should always get an inspection.

Mar 13, 2011 08:22 PM #85
Rainmaker
1,826,913
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Torgie - it's very hard to do that, but it helps to be informed!

Brenda and Ron - they are doing their job, and I was doing mine...

Dagny - you are right, things will be warming up and so will they.

Dennis and Terri - I agree with that!  It is odd how many people don't get one or don't find a value in it.

Mar 13, 2011 10:33 PM #86
Rainmaker
437,965
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate

We have a saying in the DC Metro Area:  There are only 2 kinds of houses, those with termite in them now and those that have been already been treated for them.

Mar 14, 2011 03:32 AM #87
Rainmaker
1,826,913
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

True words Debbie.  I can see which houses have had treatment as well.

Mar 14, 2011 04:32 AM #88
Rainer
295,383
Paddy Deighan JD PhD
TimeshareLawyers.pro - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

WOW, great blog...with everything that is going on in real estate today, we often forget about some of the problems from the past such as termites...while everyone is worried about short sales, foreclosures and mold, the parasites are eating away many homes in America

Mar 15, 2011 09:38 PM #89
Rainmaker
1,826,913
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Well, Paddy, we have to be aware of lots of things!  You worry about the real estate stuff and I will worry about the home inspection stuff, and together we'll be a team!

Mar 15, 2011 10:40 PM #90
Rainmaker
273,464
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Nice catch and great photos. Luckliy termites aren't much of a problem here, except for the one area of the coast where I bought a condo. :>(

Apr 29, 2011 11:54 AM #91
Rainmaker
1,826,913
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Wayne!  Glad you found the post!  Lucky you as regards the termites...

Apr 29, 2011 12:23 PM #92
Rainer
247,800
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

Knowing where to look along with a lot of experience can make all the difference in finding what might not be so obvious to others.

Nov 22, 2013 12:44 AM #93
Rainmaker
1,826,913
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You look where termites are invited, or most likely to be Gerard.  And this was one big invitation!

Nov 22, 2013 04:57 AM #94
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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