Your house is DIRT!
We have lots of wood destroying organisms it the Northwest. Wood Decay/Rot, Carpenter Ants, Dampwood Termites, Sub-Terranean Termites, Anobiid Beetles and Moisture Ants are always looking for ways to return your house to where it originally came from–dirt!
Good building practices are put in place to slow this process down as much as possible. Most of us would agree that, given the sizable investment our homes represent, this is a pretty good idea.
And yet, we install finish grade too high, let our homes become overgrown with vegetation, don’t control roof water drainage, and in general, we seem to do what we can to assist the bugs. We are sort of co-conspirators with them–and they seem to know this.
In a recent crawl space I came across this installation of the plastic ground cover/moisture barrier. This is an open invitation to wood destroying insects. You might as well put up a big sign that says
“Bugs Welcome!!”–have at it!
We need to put ourselves in their place.
Think like a Termite.
Think like a Carpenter Ant.
Be one with Rot.
When we do this we can learn how to keep them out–or at least slow them down. When we run the plastic ground cover up the foundation and attach it to the wood rim joist we create a nice protected area for the bugs to do their thing un-noticed.
And trust me–they do their finest work in the dark.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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