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STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS & DEFECTS
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS
CONNECTORS, FASTENERS, TIES
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
DEFINITIONS of Mobile Home, Doublewide, Modular, Panelized
DEFINITIONS of ENGINEERED WOOD OSB LVL etc
DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
FRAMING DAMAGE, INSPECTION, REPAIR
GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK
HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
KIT HOMES, Aladdin, Sears, Wards, Others
LOG HOME GUIDE
MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS
MODULAR HOME CONSTRUCTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
PRE-CUT & KIT HOMES
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
ROT, FUNGUS, INSECT DAMAGE
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS
STRUCTURAL WOOD ASSESSMENT
TIMBER FRAMING, ROT
TRUSSES, Floor & Roof
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
When & how to probe wood or other materials to evaluate termite or other insect damage: this article describes how we determine when invasive methods are appropriate as part of evaluating termite damage, carpenter ant damage, powde post beetle or old house borer or other wood desctroying insect damage at a building.
This article series provides a case study of a termite inspection that found insect & rot damage:photographs, inspection advice & visual clues that led to discovery of severe hidden structural damage to a building.
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This termite damage investigation case describes an order of discovery of clues suggesting, then confirming, then assessing the extent of insect damage including the discovery of very extensive hidden termite damage in a finished wood floor. A sequence of photographs illustrates the course of our termite inspection and what we found.
The termite damage clues described first outdoors beginning at TERMITE DAMAGE INSPECTION, then continuing at TERMITE SIGNS INDOORS justified (with owner permission) pulling off baseboard molding trim to disclose how the floor was constructed and what damage to its support may remain. We saw rot, termite damage, mud, mud tubes. A disappointment to say the least.
Conditions at the floor perimeter led us to probe some small spots of wood filler in the center of the re-built, re-finished floor.
With the slightest pressure the wood filler collapsed under our probe (above left), showing the extensive termite damage shown by the photographs at above right and the two termite damage photographs below.
Let's summarize arguments that the risk of hidden damage and the cost of addressing it outweighs the cost associated with cosmetic damage caused by probing or the cost and trouble of partial demolition of a building with some observations & comments:
Also see the FEAR-O-METER a promotion theory to convert risk of hidden defects & hazards into action thresholds, for a discussion of how an accumulation of inspection evidence leads to a rational decision to perform invasive or desctructive inspection measures.
These covered-over termite damage combined with evidence of ongoing termite activity was an upsetting series of discoveries at the building we describe above.
Continue reading at STRUCTURAL DAMAGE PROBING or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Articles about Rot, fungus, Termites, Carpenter Ants, Powder Post Beetles, Leaks and Water Entry Damage in Buildings