One of today’s inspections. …


What does that shack have for an exterior finish, stucco?

Looks nasty!

But… I though environmental was outside the scope of our inspection. Good job picking up on the termite trails. I just sold my home in the Toronto area and the outside deck was covered in termite trails. The H.I. either did not pick up on that fact (I did not cover up the trails) or failed to mention it in his report. Either way the house is sold and as far as I know they’ve never made it in the house.


I am licensed as a PCO. This Inspection was contracted for WDI.


Hard coat stucco everywhere. House was formerly a twin. Right side was demo’d some years back. Building was similar in style to the twin home to the left. Everything was covered in stucco. Original siding, fascia, soffit, shingles, window sills and trim, etc…


Many inspectors arrange for the termite inspector by be on the property as a service for the customer. IF you do this, you are just as responsible as the damage as he is because you hired him (this is especially true if you pay for the termite insepction)

That being said, you are also responsible for identifing damaged wood, whether is is termite damaged or wood rot. If you see something that you think looks lilke termites, you need to mention it n your report as possible termite damage and refer to a specialist. I can tell you of many a law suit in florida due to damage like that in the last picture because the inspector did not crawl under the home. Termite or not, it is your responsibility to mention it in your report.

Where are you located in Florida?

Miami area

Nice pictures of subterranean termite tubes. Subs are rare to nearly nonexistent in Western Washington. Lots on the other side of the mountains. On this side I see Dampwood termites a lot. Usually in footing forms left in place. I would way rather find dampwoods than subs.

I agree “that’s why I mentioned he failed to mention it in his/her report”. If I see any evidence of wood rot or possible pest infestation I’ll defer it to a licenced technician every time. I keep thinking that one day they’ll be chasing me on the sale of that house for not disclosing!

Mud Tunnels and Damage caused by WDI is a visible condition and needs to be noted within a Home Inspection Report. This is applicable whether you are a Licensed PCO or not.

The type of Insect and/or Organism that caused the damage is a determination that is made by a licensed WDI/WDO Inspector (dependant upon State/Provincial requirements).

  • Mud Tunnels should be noted when found.
  • Damage to Framing of any type (Fire, Water, Insect, etc…) should be noted when found.

The SOP will not provide a defensible position if the condition is visible and not reported exclusively due to SOP Guidelines.

That is why the Insurance is called E&O. (Errors & Ommissions)

Joe, you are 100% correct. There is some contention about mentioning whether or not they are termites, unless one is a CPO. For legality sake, it is better to mention damgage and defer.

I, on the other hand, started out as a termite inspector, and will mention it every time. One of these days, I am sure it will get me into trouble, but that is my middle name anyway.

For those of you in North Carolina just remember that it is against the law to identify termites, wood boring beetles, or carpenter ants/bees on a home inspection report whether you are a licensed PCO or not. We see people getting in trouble for that all the time. It must be reported as “wood destroying insects” with no specifics mentioned.

Have a link available referencing this alleged law?

From todays inspection.:shock::cool:




Joe & Bill

Nice pictures of WDO infestation and/or previous infestations. Were they
active or previous or could you tell? The damage looks fresh.

I’m registered in my state for WDO and PCO inspections and service,
although I don’t actively work the business much anymore. I do use the
knowledge I’ve gained over the past 20+ yrs. or so, in my H/I’s, and I
still maintain my CEU hours and registration for convenience sake.

If I see suspected activity or damage, I always defer in my reports to a
PC Company, for liability purposes. It minimizes the gray area of
responsibility and the Ga. Dept. of Agri. will stay off my back.

Not so fast William,

A Home Inspector’s first obligation is to comply with state law - then to NACHI Standards. In Washington state a home inspector cannot comment on the occurrence of or a conducive condition of moisture penetration or wood destroying organism, be it by bug or fungi or flashing problem, except that the home inspector holds a Washington State Dept. of Ag. “Structural Pest Inspector” License. This is true if a neighbor points out to you that you have a termite or flashing problem. That is, the neighbor is violating Washington state law when he/she points this condition out to you (the home owner.)

“Washington” the weird State.

Cmon Dennis, You know that isn’t true. Anybody can point out whatever they want to point out in Washington unless they are doing it as part of a business. Instead of coming up with far fetched ideas like this, just attend one of the classes put on by the WSDA and they will answer all your questions…silly or not. You can try and bring up plumbers and leaks… roofers and leaks or rot or general contractors inspecting as part of a bid or repair of a property…Simple ask the State. Those items are not part of the WSDA law as enacted. If you took the time to call Dr. Suomi and ask instead of wasting your time writing this nonsense, you would be doing yourself and your clients a great favor.

You and I have shared private emails on this subject and I understand how you are operating, but you keep stating things as fact that are not true. Take the class, get the license. You know what wood rot looks like. There is no difficulty in identifying termites, carpenter ants. Don’t spread the wealth…Keep it for yourself. :wink:

Well Steven, perhaps your question to me should have been “where did you get that understanding?” I do not take kindly to being accused as one who presents non-facts as facts! So, would you please get the facts before making accusations?

Early in my investigation of the “FACTS” I called the Dept of Ag. There was some phone-passing until they got me to someone who seemed to understand the law. Here is the question I posed to her: “… so, if I were say, an electrician and in a crawl space drilling a hole, and while doing so I noticed a carpenter ant in the area and when visiting with the home owner I mentioned the sighting of the carpentar ant - am I in violation of Washington State Law.” She briefly hesitated and followed, “yes, you would be in violation of law.”

So, apparently you have proposed the same question and received a different answer. Have you? I am sorry Steven, I have to go with what I was told by an authority of the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
If the person on the phone was wrong, I can’t have her pass the phone to someone else until I get the answer I want to hear or and answer that seems correct. If they are wrong they need to show themselves on this bulletin board and correct their error. Otherwise, the rest of North America has, with clear conscience, heard the truth and can with confidence believe that our legislators are idiots.

Given that I have simply quoted the response that was given to me dont you owe me something? Like an apology!!

Oh, one more thing. During my conversation with the Department of Agriculture NO distinction was made as to whether or not a business act was in process. Besides, suppose you are right and that a “business” can’t reveal what was seen? So, if a Lawn & Garden company noticed a WDO (Termite for instance) and mentioned it to the home owner he, the businessman, is a criminal. That is equally idiotic in my mind.

Oh, one more thing. During my conversation with the Department of Agriculture NO distinction was made as to whether or not a business act was in process. Besides, suppose you are right and that a “business” can’t reveal what was seen? So, if a Lawn & Garden company noticed a WDO (Termite for instance) and mentioned it to the home owner he, the businessman, is a criminal. That is equally idiotic in my mind.