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Phoenix home inspector finds hidden termite damage

When we complete a Phoenix home inspection, it is rare to find such extensive termite damage. But as you can see, it does happen. This particular home will need thousands of dollars to repair the structural damage. From the photo above you can determine that the bottom joists of the roof structure are completely destroyed. This section of the roof structure holds up the ceiling and this condition will require the involvement of a structural engineer prior to repairs by a restoration contractor.

We are often asked, “how can I be sure that the home does not have structural damage from termites?” There is no tidy answer to this question. If the damage is concealed within a wall it will not be visible to the inspector. You may find evidence of structural damage in the attic, but on a home like the one shown above, the wall structure condition is largely unknown. Termites could have eaten their way upward into the attic leaving behind damage inside the wall cavities. Short of removing the wall surfaces, this concern may have to go unanswered.

In most cases, when extensive termite damage is found, it results from years of ignoring the warning signs associated with termite infestation. By the time a home inspector finds this condition, it has been evident-yet ignored for decades. Take some time to learn what the termite shelter tubes look like by doing a Google search for “termite evidence”. Tap on wood baseboards occasionally to check for areas eaten away. If in doubt, have an annual inspection performed by a pest control company. A little prevention today can save thousands of dollars later.

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