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Crawl Space Structural Wood Rot & Termite Damage in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Triad Region.

Crawl Space Structural Wood Rot & Termite Damage in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Triad Region.

As you can see from the video this home has extensive wood rot damage that was repaired prior to our inspection. 50% of the floor system had already been repaired by other contractors. Approximately $30,000 worth of structural repairs had to be done to get this home to the point of resale. All related to summer crawl space moisture challenges and insect damage. In addition to the moisture damaged joists, a large section of the floor system was infested with termites. Termites can be a huge problem in the Southeastern United States, and certainly crawl space moisture problems create a wet environment that insects thrive in making the potential damage even worse. Mold and fungal growth can also infest the sub-structure as you will see on this house accelerating the wood rot decay as the biofilm material feeds off of the wood members when active. The additional work noted during this inspection will require an additional $15,000 budget to fix. All of these expensive repairs could have been avoided by following a few simple home maintenance protocols:

  • Performing annual termite inspections.
  • Performing routine HVAC inspections of the exchanger and supporting duct work.
  • Checking the crawl space for signs of condensation problems.
  • Opening and closing the crawl space vents at the appropriate times.
  • Performing an industrial mold cleaning service and cleaning of the crawl space sub-structure as soon as possible to remove the biofilm contaminates and help preserve the framing integrity of the sub-structure.
  • Installing a proper vapor barrier over the crawl space soils to achieve 100% soil coverage.
  • Installing an Encapsulation and/or hybrid Controlled Ventilation System such as an ATMOX System to control moisture and maintain proper crawl space ventilation and air quality.
  • Closing off the vents and deploying a dehumidifier during the summer months.
  • Keeping gutters clean and free flowing while extending downspouts away from the structure a minimum of 6ft.
  • Resolving any known foundation drainage and/or crawl space waterproofing problems.
  • Keeping all plants and shrubs within 10 ft. of the foundation walls trimmed and pruned back to normal sizes.
  • Ensuring that all flower beds are graded and sloped away from the structure.

Performing basic maintenance items on the home and keeping track of the crawl space challenges in real time would have saved this homeowner thousands of dollars. For more information on crawl space inspections and structural wood damage from termites and/or mold infestation please don’t hesitate to give us a call for additional information or to schedule a phone consultation and/or onsite evaluation and inspection. We are here to help!

One of the many services we provide is the occasional crawl space home inspection requested by the Real Estate community. Homeowners will put their home on the market not realizing that the crawl space has structural wood challenges. Often, the damage is not observed until a licensed home inspector and/or engineer reviews the home and notes the damage in an inspection report. Homeowners and selling agents alike are often faced with the time consuming and stressful task of getting additional inspections, evaluations, and/or estimates from contractors to facilitate repairs during the due diligence period of the transaction. Depending on the level of damage, in many cases, a licensed structural engineer may be required to evaluate and design the repair before any estimates are requested from contractors. Many of the jobs are more routine dealing with minor moisture damaged and/or termite damaged rim joists, floor joists, and/or flush girders. The attached video shows a typical crawl space structural inspection for a home with a traditionally stick built pier and curtain wall foundation commonly found in the Charlotte market. Please see the video below for clarification.

Original Crawl Space Inspection LinkedIn article