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The difference between water rot and termite damage.

There is often confusion amoung home inspectors as to the difference between termite damage and water rot. The two are mutually exclusive.

Water can settle around a stoop leading into a home . Any settled concrete pad can provide an avenue for water to enter. Often the pad will settle slightly towards the home and water will soak into the framing.  During an inspection in Middletown NJ recently  I discovered extensive water rot conditions to the front entry of a single family home.

Water rot conditions are characterized by soft and spongy wood that is still in place. Cubicle rot is another condition caused by a fungus.

Termites remove the wood / cellulose and leave channels filled with mud to protect them from the air and light. Termites also avoid wet conditions.

Pinnacle Home Inspections 800-989-3872



Crawl Space – Home Inspections

If the house you’re buying has a crawl space, I’d like to offer the following;  A crawl space is generally not the nicest place in a house and as a result, most homeowners don’t go in until a small problem has become a  bigger, more noticeable problem such as a plumbing leak, electric , pest, structural, etc,.

During a recent inspection in a  NJ house, I found that the kitchen sink had a very slow drain, the visible drain pipe was suspect, but it went much further. In the crawl space, I found the waste pipe below had bad connections, improper pitch and if it wasn’t for the leaks found, I don’t think water would have moved at all! This was all reported to the buyer and repair recommendations made.

A crawl space can reveal many concerns and is an important part of a house and, if present, an important part of our home inspections.

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Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants found on my home inspection. Is that serious?

Carpenter ants are considered a wood destroying insect that can do damage to wood members by removing/excavating the wood. They generally prefer moisture laden wood with over 35% moisture in order to to damage.

Home inspectors in NJ generally can find carpenter ants in basements, crawl spaces, garages and around the perimeter of the home.

They can nest in the wood and can go almost unnoticed for years untill the damage exposes itself.

The home inspector always recommends a treatment from a licensed pest control operator.

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Family on top of house

Leaky Roofs after snow cover

Ice daming

As home inspectors in NJ we are very busy this time of year looking for effects of ice daming that wicks up into the roof sheathing. This condition occurs after trapped ice and snow begins to melt in the gutters and has no place to go except in. The space behind the gutter is open to the decking under your shingles.

Some roofs have rubberized type membranes installed along the starter course to impede the flow of water into the home. This does work.

Home inspectors have moisture meters to determine if stains are active.

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Gutter Systems and Maintenance


North Cape May, Cape May County, NJ 08024
Pinnacle Home Inspection

Common causes of water seepage into crawl spaces.

As part of normal homeowner maintenance expect to clean and align gutters to allow for proper water discharge away from the structure.

To help prevent water seepage into lower levels of the house or finished living areas, provide extensions for runoff drains and downspouts.

Underground drainage systems are susceptible to freeze during the winter months and should be checked often.

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Mention this blog and receive $10 off your home inspection package for the month of March.


Electric Panels and Home Inspections

Many times electric panels have hidden concerns that can lead to safety problems. These concerns will only be discovered when the cover is removed, such as during a Home Inspection. Homeowners should NEVER remove an electric panel cover, leave this to the professionals such as a Home Inspector or Electrician.

Some hidden concerns that can lead to trouble are:

-Rust or corrosion / water entry, mainly from the exterior.

-Double tapped breakers.

-Improper sized breakers.

-Rodent damage.

-Burnt wires, to name a few.

The above photo shows a burnt white neutral wire, in the center, that I discovered during a recent New Jersey Home Inspection, this is a real safety concern and further evaluation by an electrician was recommended.

Home Inspections are important to you and your family. 1-800-989-3872