Choosing an inspector:
Would your inspector take this shot? Three stories up? Just to be sure the gutters weren’t clogged? To be clear: Oregon does not require inspectors to walk roofs, or enter an area that can be hazardous or has limited access, including crawl spaces and attics. Some inspectors are just not comfortable on roofs or in confined spaces. I’ve been walking roofs for 30 years. I go into attics and crawl spaces. Sometimes I get chased out by bats or raccoons, but I still go in them. These are the areas where the majority of serious defects are discovered and I feel it’s imperative that they are inspected fully. That is the level of expertise you should expect in your inspection and it is what you will receive with an Allegiant Inspection. Always check the Oregon Certified Home Inspector License Search to make sure whomever you hire is licensed, bonded and insured.
It’s termite season! I found this guy outside today (Aug 30). This is the Pacific Dampwood Termite and they are all over the coast. You will see swarms of these mainly on warm humid early evenings from August through October. A large colony can produce thousands but they are more commonly seen in the hundreds.
These winged forms of the species are called Alates or winged reproductives and they consist of new kings and queens that are produced from a colony to go out and form new colonies. The local OSU Extension office receives a lot of calls this time of year from people wondering what they are. Over 90% of a swarm will die. They are horrible at flying, do not survive long outside the nest and are not able to travel far. To survive, a king and a queen must both excavate a new home, seal it up and take a two week honeymoon to produce the first eggs.
As their name implies, they attack dampwood or wood with a high moisture content and can not survive in dry conditions. If you find these stuck in cobwebs all over your home it does not necessarily mean you have an infestation. They are all over in wooded areas and firewood stacks. If you find many of them inside your home (rare) you may have an infestation and should schedule an inspection.
To avoid having an infestation, there are several things homeowners can do:
*Store firewood off the ground, covered and at least twenty feet from the home.
*Divert water from gutter downspouts away from the foundation and keep gutters clean to prevent overflow onto siding, trim and foundation.
*Repair any roof leaks. The first good rain is a good time to inspect the attic.
*Repair any leaking plumbing fixtures or lines.
*Properly venting attics, crawl spaces and basements.
*Make sure you have a vapor barrier in your crawl space.
*Keep those crawl space vents open year round, protected by insect screens and unobstructed by shrubs/vegetation.
*Remove any stumps near the home as they are attracted to decaying wood.