Termites and Structural Issues | Home Inspections Colts Neck NJ
Be Aware! As a homeowner look for things that don’t look right. Often people comment that my son and inspection partner Brian and I are, “very thorough” or words to that effect. Well, it’s our job to be thorough. We’re not only looking for things that appear to be wrong but we’re also, “Looking” for things that aren’t there. This is the first in what hopefully will be a series of posts that point things out to homeowners and prospective buyers that will help you either see things (For the owner) that may require some immediate attention and for a buyer, may help you notice things when you look at a prospective home to buy that will require attention. On a side note, I am appreciative when someone calls for an inspection and says, “I noticed… (Fill in the blank)… when we visited the house. Can you take a look when you do the inspection?”
We did an inspection this week. From the outside it looked like a nice house, well kept and it appeared to be well maintained. However, when inside the basement there were text book termite mud tubes. It’s easy for me to say now but a homeowner must be aware of their surroundings. If these tubes were there from the start then shame on the termite inspector for not seeing them. However, if they occurred over the years that the current occupant lived in the house then shame on them. I don’t understand how someone doesn’t see this and then not investigate what it is followed by asking, what do I do next? Often termite tubes or termite damage are hard to find. As a termite inspector, there may not be any outward signs but when the wood is probed, the wood shreds because the termites have destroyed the wood internally with very few outward signs. If you see things like I’ve shown below, call a pesticide company. If you’re not sure, call a home inspector and ask for just a termite inspection.
Horizontal Foundation Cracks
Home inspectors, at least we at Regal Home Inspections, don’t like to be the bearers of bad news. It’s our job to find these issues and matters and we’re are thankful when we find them because it’s usually very important information for the clients. Horizontal cracks in foundation walls are one such example. The follow up for some findings in an inspection report are easy; For example, call and electrician to replace an outlet. Others are much more difficult and the next steps to fully evaluate a horizontal foundation wall crack are not easy and costly but are required. In accordance with the NJ Home Inspection laws and standards of practice, an inspector is required to: A) Identify material defects. B) Explain why the material defect finding is important and then C) What the client must do next. For a horizontal crack (It’s been identified) it’s B) important because the foundation wall is structural and a horizontal crack indicated that the foundation wall has moved inward. From an inspection perspective, the next steps C) Should include further evaluation by a structural engineer and then repair as that professional deems necessary.
The engineer may recommend that the crack be, “Patched and monitored” if it’s hairline. An engineer may specify repair. Often, the repair is intended to strengthen the wall to prevent additional movement. This may be done by having a qualified contractor install “I beams” vertically against the wall.
If your house has exposed, foundation walls, look at them. Notice their condition. Notice any changes that you may see over time. Ask yourself, “Why is that different now than how it was before?” This applies to all areas, not just foundation walls and termite tubes. I’ll try to cover other items at a later date.
Other Services | Home Inspections Monmouth County NJ
Regal Home Inspections, LLC is thermal imaging certified and offers Monmouth County NJ certified home inspections, condo inspections, estate inspections, and townhouse inspections.
It’s likely your mortgage company will require a wood-destroying insect inspection. Regal Home Inspections has the NJ DEP Core & 7B Pesticide Applicator license, so we can offer professional termite and wood-destroying insect inspections as well!
Call 908-902-2590 for your free quote or if you have any questions!