Can’t we just cut the ends of the rotted wood
and replace that part?
I have learned a lot of things from reading termite reports and seeing the work that they do. I am not licensed to spray chemicals or issue reports as a termite inspector but I have done more than my share of dry rot repair in Sacramento, California. I realize the importance of identifying, removing and repairing wood that is rotted and damaged by water and pests. Much of it is common sense, some I learned through experience.
Termite Inspections in California have come to be a requirement in any real estate transaction today. When satisfied we get that feeling that all is well with the home – free of pests and water related damages. That may in fact be the case, but what does the repair look like?
I’m not here to criticize the reasoning of wood repairs that are done to satisfy a termite report, I have used some of the same techniques in order to stay competitive. One of the most common practices is to just remove the damaged portion of the wood. You’ve seen it. For example, those 8 foot boards with the 2 foot repair at the bottom that doesn’t quite match the existing wood. Why is this done this way?
By removing just the rot damaged wood and leaving the remainder, there is a cost savings in both time and material. I have learned that this does satisfy the requirement in removing the damaged wood. However, the repairs will always look less than desirable. You can see these repairs even after the caulking and painting has been done.
Many sellers will have the wood rot work completed prior to listing that way they can say that there is a clean termite report. Great, but what does it look like? Will the home look good at the time of listing? Buyers are often stuck with the ugly cost cutting choices of the repair contractor, having to look at these areas for years to come. There may be a better answer.
Why not require the repairs to include the entire board that is being repaired, or at least set some minimum lengths. The finished product will look much better and easier to sell if you are the seller. A buyer will forget the repair area because they won’t have to be visually reminded seeing it every time they pass by.
How can this be done? Just ask for it. Most contractors will be willing to spend some extra time and a little bit more in materials to do a quality job. A qualified contractor can make this repair look like new with only a small additional cost. Knowing that you are concerned with the appearance of the repair, and not just the satisfying of the termite report, can go a long way in getting a professional wood rot and water damage repair.
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