NACHI asks for code changes for more termite resistant materials to be used in FL.

NACHI recently requested changes to the International Residential Code and International Building Code that would require termite resistant structural members for new construction in areas where the Formosan subterranean termite has been identified (the areas of highest termite pressure in the country). This requirement would parallel the progressive termite control measures already in effect in Hawaii, but slow to be adopted in the lower 48.

  1. According to research conducted at Louisiana State University, “The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki is the most destructive, difficult to control and economically important species of termite in the southern United States.” Source:

  2. Home inspections and WDO reports are not designed to provide a homeowner with complete assurance that there are no termites. In fact, the Florida Dept. of Ag states:

A “clear” report means that there was no evidence of wood destroying organisms infestation or damage visible and accessible to the inspector at the time of the inspection. It does NOT mean, however, that the buyer can be absolutely assured that there are no wood destroying organisms infesting the structure or that there is no damage from termites or other wood destroying organisms.

Note*** it is very possible for termite or other WDO damage or infestations to be behind walls or in some other inaccessible location even in structures that receive “clear” reports.


  1. Also, according to the Florida Department of Community Affairs, about 50% of homeowners let their termite contracts lapse.

To effectively mitigate costly termite damage and protect home inspectors from claims regarding termites in inaccessible areas , termite resistant materials should be mandated for areas of high termite pressure, especially where the Formosan subterranean termite is known to exist.

How was the request presented? May we see a copy of the request? How does NACHI decide the merits of Code change requests?

There are actually two separate and existing proposed code changes to IRC R320 proposed by the steel stud industry: RB126 & RB127.

Either of these proposals will increase the protection for consumers in high risk termite areas and generally speaking, any code change that increases consumer protection from termites increases inspector protection from claims.

NACHI supports all code changes that reduce inspector liability.

Having not read the proposed code changes I can not comment on their ability to reduce my liability Nick.

Which brings to mind some new questions.

Out of all the proposed code changes why is NACHI only supporting (requesting?:wink: ) only these two?

How is NACHI’s support formalized?

Who decides at NACHI which proposed code changes to support?

Are any guidelines used to reach this decision?

As the industry’s largest trade association, NACHI lends support to all code change proposals that reduce inspector liability in the same way that we lend support to all portions of proposed legislation that limit inspector liability (ex: time limits on how long one can wait to file a complaint regarding an inspection report).

Is there a NACHI magic 8 Ball utilized to determine “Reduced Inspector Liability?”

No. Most code change proposal’s and legislative proposal’s effect of home inspector liability are self evident, and if it reduces our liability as an industry, NACHI supports it of course. Termites and mold don’t attack steel, so this proposal would reduce claims and our liability along with it.

I’d like to see this in every proposed inspection legislation:

“Any legal action to recover damages arising from an inspection must be commenced within 6 months after the date of the report”

That would eliminate the bulk of our termite and mold cases.

Thank you Nick.:smiley: