What Are These Things?

I was inspecting a 100-110 year old 3,700sf house with a basement, crawlspace and parts of the crawlspace dug out to be a decent sized cellar. Saw some funny stuff - wondered if anybody knows what it is?

  1. The 1st 2 photos are of joists in the crawlspace. The wood looked kind of dimpled and I kept seeing little pieces of grey stuff about 6" long and as big around as my pencil eraser hanging down from the wood joists at various places.

  2. The 3rd photo - Up in the attic, I had these sections of disconnected BUT still live wire going through little white polished looking tubes. Most of the wire had been covered with about 8"-10" of insulation (probably to keep it warm in the winter and keep someone from stepping on it).

  3. The 4th and 5th Photo were the chimney on the roof and then the chimney in the attic going to the roof (couldn’t figure out why they had removed some of the bricks unless it was to help ventilate it).

Things you may find in a 110 yr. old house. :mrgreen:

Just note in your report Dan that it is not a Code Inspection and you just provide the pictures as a courtesy.

Them are what we call “Twister turds”. When the tornadoes come through the area, the rapid drop in baromometer pressure causes the wood to excrete them turds. It pulls the moisture, sawdust and dirt right out of them boards. At least that’s what a code inspektor done told me. :wink:

Where did you get certified to do these inspections and are you really a CMI?

Dan, besides the knob and tube wiring, and termites don’t forget the aesbestos siding. ;):mrgreen:

That valley flashing/diverter doesn’t look up to code either.
Write it up!!!

With all due respect Dan, I woulda’ kinda’ thought these were a ‘gimmee’ for you. My first thought was that you are being sarcastic. Right?

That is a fixer upper for TN , Lets see Just a adorable century Home with some loving care you will enjoy the grand old days.

Good one! :smiley:

This is a test. For the next 60 seconds, we will be performing a test of the national home inspection emergency alert system. This is only a test.

Marcel -

You mean that ribbed hard shingle siding outside might have been ACM. Now that really sets me to thinking. The front was OK but the back was all broken up and had missing sections, so they were stripping it off and dumping it in the alley behind the building to replace it with vinyl siding.

If that was asbestos, I wonder if the trash guy is really gonna haul it away.

Marcel, NOW that also makes me wonder what those big rolls of white stuff hanging off some of the old steel water pipes in the crawlspace was. It was about 3" thick and looked like the side profile of a cardboard box cut open. You could see the insides everywhere (looked like little cells) cause it was hanging down almost everywhere.

That’ hilarious Dan. :):wink:

Jeffrey -

When business gets slow (only 3 jobs last week) I get bored, SO …

Both these buildings are Commercial. The one on the right is a duplex; the one on the left is a 8-plex. Although rehabbed both are 100-110 years old.

Looking at photo #1 - The brick building seen at the rear between these 2 buildings is a battery manufacturer. Looking at photo #2 - The white block building about 9’ to the side of the duplex is an old gas station and tire store. Think Phase 1 AND wonder if that had anything to do with why the owner was financing it himself.

Looking at photo #2 - You see the overhead electrical line coming from the pole to the duplex. Someone has added a rather large 2nd floor deck to the duplex and the meter is on the side of the duplex at the base of the deck. IF the overhead wire was run straight it would go across the center of the deck at a height of about 4’-5’ above the deck floor.

THEREFORE they have ingeniously wrapped the overhead power lines around the large tree trunk / anchored them to the white block walls of the gas station / then run them on to the duplex wall and down to the meter.

This was a small town about 45 miles outside KC. I was to do both buildings for an out of state investor from Alaska. He had never seen the buildings except on the internet. The seller was financing everything. The buildings have been rehabbed AND like the seller (a doctor) said, the small town had VERY stringent codes and these had recently passed all CODE inspections, etc.

I had inspected the outside of the duplex; the buildings attic; the top duplex; then went to the cellar, basement, crawlspace. Once we found the Termite damage, etc the investor had me go look at the basement, crawlspace on the 8-plex. SAME deal ….

Probably most extensive case of termite damage I’ve seen in 20 years BECAUSE it wasn’t just random (here or there). It was every other joist; the sub-floor; the rim joists; the sills in the newer addition; the girders; the support posts; etc, etc. To repair this right you would have needed to just about rebuild or replace the entire support structure - Then you wonder about what you can’t see behind finishes.

The buyer had me stop the inspection at the basement. We didn’t do the bottom of the duplex, its MAIN mechanicals, etc OR anything other than the support system in the 8-plex.

Turned out to be a much shorter day on site than I had planned.

I am guessing the camera flash makes the termite tunnels appear to be bright yellow. If the camera is not lying then looks like you most likely got some Penicillium mold growing.

That’s good for infections, isn’t it??? :mrgreen:

WOW, Dan! Thanks for the summary of your day! I feel better now.

Linus -

Just slipped in I guess.

James -

Termite Tubes / MANY Termite Tubes 5" - 9" long. Buildings SHOW no signs of EVER having ANY type termite treatment or repairs.

I’m sure there was MOLD, we just never got that FAR nor were we being paid to do mold samplings, so …

We DID NOT perform any mold tests or mold / air sampling evaluations at this property. A visual inspection alone can not verify the type, absence, presence or significance of mold. Almost all buildings have some form of mold / spores present, most of which are not harmful. Mold however, can cause health and respiratory problems for some people. Mold types and their significance can only be discovered through sampling and laboratory analysis. A competent IAC2 Certified mold or other indoor air quality specialist can provide information, testing or evaluation for you.

1 and 2 look like termite and carpenter ant infestation with dry rot thrown in for good measure.
3 would be ball and tube wiring.
4 and 5 . bricks are dislodged and masonry has degraded and decomposed back to its original elements due to moisture, expansion and contraction.
I have never sen termite tubes and would not hazard a guess.
I am going with 3 as ball and tube by verbal description only.