Wood Destroying Organisms
This report includes a structural pest inspection embedded within the report. All observations in this report that begin with WDO are a part of a WA State Pest Inspection. Orca Inspection Services LLC employs Dylan Chalk, Licensed Structural Pest Inspector #65540. Please note that most WDO observations are related to high moisture conditions that could be conducive to mold-like substances. Orca Inspection Services LLC is not a mold specialist and recommends consulting with an industrial hygienist or other mold remediation expert if concerned about mold or indoor air quality.
Visible Evidence of Active Wood Destroying Insects None noted
Visible Evidence of Inactive Wood Destroying Insects None noted
Visible Evidence of Active Wood Decay and Fungi Present
Visible Evidence of Damage from Wood Destroying Organisms Present
Visible Evidence of Conditions Conducive to Wood Destroying Organisms Present
This house has three decking systems: west, south and east. The east deck is the newest and in pretty good condition with just one or two boards that seem to need replacement. The two older systems: to the south and the west require repairs, some of which are structural: see posts to west deck. I was unable to fully inspect the frames here, due to limited access, but their visible condition suggests that a game plan is needed to repair / update these two systems. I recommend additional inspection and repair of these decks / porches by a qualified general contractor. Examples of observations noted during inspection include:
- Carpenter ant exit holes noted - west deck - could be concealed damage here.
- Wood decay in fascia of west deck where in concrete contact - entry steps.
- South deck: poorly flashed to the house and exposed OSB sheathing below the doors.
- South deck: no flashing between decking and siding - could cause wood decay
- Arrow points to the spot where flashings are missing and OSB is exposed.
- A few damaged boards were noted at the east deck.
- Signs of settlement - NW corner of west deck
- I would expect the need to replace the rotting posts system for the west deck.
- Rotted posts - see posts in soil contact - west deck.
All trees, branches and vegetation should be pruned at least six feet away from the building to eliminate a condition conducive to wood destroying organisms and a path for rodent entry.
To eliminate a condition conducive to wood destroying organisms, remove the wood pile that is stacked up near the building - south side of the garage. Remove away from the structure and store in a dry place.
Inadequate kick-out flashings were noted between the roof and wall junctures. These are important to divert water away from the siding and onto the roof to prevent water from running behind the siding. Hire a qualified contractor familiar with siding installation to further evaluate and repair. The time to do this is during the next re-roof.
The gutters are clogged with organic debris and require cleaning to ensure proper control of roof runoff. Clean the gutters and ensure they are unobstructed, leak free and properly sloped to drain.
The weather strip for the attic access hatch is not seated properly and the hatch is leaking air. This should be better air sealed to prevent heat migration into the attic.
- Master Bathroom:
The tile and grout should be cleaned and sealed with grout sealer to prevent water damage to the tile - see especially inside shower surrounds - master bath. This should be a routine procedure with tile unless epoxy grout was used. If this is not done in epoxy grout plan on annual cleaning and sealing tile grout inside the shower surrounds to prolong the useful life of the tile. Prior to sealing, replace any failing caulking at inside corners. The sanded caulking works well and can be selected to match existing grout.
- Pests and Wood Destroying Organisms:
Carpenter ant exit holes were noted in some of the wood on the west deck. No live ants were found during inspection but carpenter ant activity is both seasonal and nocturnal so they can be difficult to find during inspection. Monitor these areas as chemical treatment may be needed and please see all WDO observations in this report that outline organic control methods to eliminate conducive conditions. If large black ants are noted, please consult with a pest control operator. As always, this condition could conceal hidden damage. This could be revealed during any repairs to the deck post and footing system.
The wood chimney chase is exposed to the weather. Expect the need for regular paint and caulk maintenance here.
- Family Bathroom:
The waste plumbing below the family bathroom sink has a scaling build-up that indicates prior leaks. No leakage was found at the time of inspection. Monitor and repair as needed.
Stains and discoloration were noted on the roof decking material when viewed from the attic. This indicates the attic has experienced prior condensation problems during the cold weather months. Generally, the way to prevent seasonal condensation in an attic involves a 4-pronged approach:
1. Air seal the ceiling as is feasible to slow air migration from the interior into the attic.
2. Be sure all bath and kitchen fans in the attic are well-sealed and venting to the exterior.
3. Keep indoor relative humidity below 55% during cold-weather months
4. Make sure the roof cavity / attic spaces are correctly ventilated.
The staining on the plywood was mild at the time of inspection. On my first visit, the stains were combined with active dampness. I believe this was due to the cold freezing fog on the morning on my first inspection, as even the truss cords were damp. I returned on 3/14/19 and the attic was dry. Options for handling this include:
- Implement air sealing work and keep indoor relative humidity below 55% and monitor during cold weather to make sure the space is staying dry and take corrective action only if needed. This is the most logical and cost-effective solution.
- Have this further investigated by a roofing contractor. This is recommended during the next re-roof, but not be effective at this time.
- Have it further investigated by a mold remediation or building performance contractor. This is recommended if the problem persists or worsens.
It is difficult to gauge during a one time inspection the degree to which this is an older or intermittent problem. In this case it could be older from when the house had drainage problems below the house. This makes it difficult to make an accurate recommendation for corrective action as it can take time to determine a practical scope and urgency for repair. For more information about roof condensation problems, please see the attached hot link above.