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  1. #1
    Scott Dana's Avatar
    Scott Dana Guest

    Exclamation Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    This is really scary. Fortunately for my client it was not the house I was inspecting, but rather the house next door. However, I did write up in my report that I did see it and that my clients may want to contact the local city's building inspector because should it fall, it may hit my clients house.

    Any other suggestions on how this can be handled? I did not go to this house and tell them about it as 1) it was not the best neighborhood and 2) I'd be surprised if they were unaware.

    Wanted to share with you all. Maybe, just maybe had I seen this earlier I could have won the recent "Best Photos" contest NAHI sponsored.

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  2. #2
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    How close is the house to your clients house? Wood boring insects may have traveled next door. May want to recommend Licensed Pest Inspector but you were there and should have a feel for the situation.


  3. #3
    Scott Dana's Avatar
    Scott Dana Guest

    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    Was probably 15-20 feet away. I did not see any evidence of that, and here in Georgia the buyer is required to get a termite letter, so that would hopefully cover that part.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    Wood boring insects may have traveled next door.
    David,

    I see cubical rot, not wood destroying inspect damage. What are you seeing that I'm not?

    (retired Certified Pest Control Operator too, but it hasn't been *that* long ago that I was looking at that stuff)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    Looks like wood rot to me too Jerry.

    I don't see any evidence of WDI, but carpenter ants are attracted to such areas.

    Best solution is to tear out the whole mess and rebuild. Band-Aid not recommended.


  6. #6
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David,

    I see cubical rot, not wood destroying inspect damage. What are you seeing that I'm not?

    (retired Certified Pest Control Operator too, but it hasn't been *that* long ago that I was looking at that stuff)
    I will defer to Rick and your selfs expertise on this subject. I have no License for pest inspection but have found that 90 percent of the time I find rot such as in pic it is accompanied by wood boring insects. Without being there hard to tell.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    but have found that 90 percent of the time I find rot such as in pic it is accompanied by wood boring insects. Without being there hard to tell.
    Other than carpenter ants?

    Carpenter ant do no harm, they only take already damaged wood, remove it, and then make their nest there. Carpenter ants do the same thing with old subterranean termite galleys, they clean the debris and frass out, then make their nests galleys.

    Typically, rotted wood is to wet for wood destroying insects, unless the wood were in water, such as pilings for docks, then you get into another mess of creatures which will attack the wood, mainly at the water line, such as worms. This was the most common destruction cause in wood pilings along saltwater canals and the Intracoastal Waterway (I don't know about fresh water).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Scott Dana's Avatar
    Scott Dana Guest

    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    Who'd a thought i'd get a lesson on pests with this post! Thanks guys!
    (no sarcasm intended)


  9. #9
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Other than carpenter ants?

    Carpenter ant do no harm, they only take already damaged wood, remove it, and then make their nest there. Carpenter ants do the same thing with old subterranean termite galleys, they clean the debris and frass out, then make their nests galleys.

    Typically, rotted wood is to wet for wood destroying insects, unless the wood were in water, such as pilings for docks, then you get into another mess of creatures which will attack the wood, mainly at the water line, such as worms. This was the most common destruction cause in wood pilings along saltwater canals and the Intracoastal Waterway (I don't know about fresh water).
    Are you sure carpenter ants do no harm? They do not eat wood but their tunneling can cause severe damage over time.
    This from National Pest Management Association.
    Carpenter Ants
    Camponotus species

    Color: Varies depending on species, from red to black or a combination. The two most common species are black.
    Legs: 6
    Shape: Segmented; oval
    Size: 5/8"
    Antennae: Yes
    Flight: No


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Carpenter ants range in size from one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters inch for a queen.

    Habits
    All species mainly attack wood that is or has been wet and damaged by mold. Even though these ants first invade wet, decayed wood, they may soon begin building paths through dry, undamaged wood. They usually come into buildings through cracks around doors, windows, or through holes for wires. They will also crawl along overhead wires, shrubs, or tree limbs that touch the building far above the ground.

    Habitat
    Carpenter ants build their nests outdoors in various wood sources, including tree stumps, firewood or landscaping. They need a constant water source to survive. They will enter homes through wet, damaged wood.

    Threats
    Carpenter ants damage wood through their nest building. If they gain entry to a structure, they pose a property threat.



    Carpenter Ants can be found in Contiguous states

    Prevention:
    Because carpenter ants require a water source, eliminate sources of moisture or standing water. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    I'm relaying information from UF and the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control, and that "carpenter ants" are not considered "wood destroying organisms".

    So, I will re-state what I said :

    *According to the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control*, Carpenter ant do no harm, they only take already damaged wood, remove it, and then make their nest there. Carpenter ants do the same thing with old subterranean termite galleys, they clean the debris and frass out, then make their nests galleys. *Thus, in Florida, carpenter ants are not considered 'wood destroying insects'.

    *I* am not the one who made the rules, *I* just followed them.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
    William Brady's Avatar
    William Brady Guest

    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    I just wanted to tell Jerry that this picture reminds me of a number of homes that I have seen or inspected that look like this under that siding we were talking about. However it is a good example of no matter what siding you see water can and will do this kind of damage left unchecked. I know its off this subject sorry.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    Bill,

    I've seen it *worse* than that behind regular stucco on frame.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
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    Cool Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    It seems to me the question that begs asking is if they are truly carpenter ants are they union or non-union?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Tacoma, WA
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    Default Re: Look out below! Extreme Rot!

    I am getting to this post a little late but to say that carpenter ant's are not a wood destroying organism is just plain false. Here in the Northwest the carpenter ant is the second leading cause of wood damage right behind rot. To be fair, I took this excerp from the U of Missouri concerning carpenter ant's,

    "The greatest concern with carpenter ants is that they will establish satellite nests in structural wood. This can cause serious damage. They will establish these nests in areas such as the roof trim, siding, rafters, joists, sheathing, decks, porches, steps, sills, subflooring, doors and window frames. They may also establish nests inside hollow areas, like hollow doors or small voids produced during construction. Most often, they establish nests in areas of the structure where the wood is moist or has been damaged by moisture. They can also move from decaying portions of the wood into sound lumber in the process of enlarging the nest."

    While carpenter ant's do prefer soft or wet wood they also willl attack sound wood without hesitation and cause serious damage to all phases of the structure that is wood.

    Not here to attack, just clarify

    Rob Jones


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