Permanent Wood Foundations

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by allie2222, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Jul 28, 2011 #1

    allie2222

    allie2222

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    I have a wall on my house that has a Permanent Wood Foundation (exterior plywood rated for below grade use). About 4 feet of it is below grade. The house was built about 15 years ago, and I've had no problems. It was properly put in with French drains. The wood was covered with black plastic and then tarred. It was inspected and met county code. The problem I am having is that I cannot get a termite warranty on it without digging the dirt completely away from the wall and then putting in a poured wall 2 feet from my house--UGH! Got an estimate for over $11,000. I know of another house with a wood foundation that is having leakage/shifting problems. I live in GA where we do have a lot of rain and humidity. One of the termite companies told me that the plywood will wick up moisture from the slab, and that it will eventually rot and/or be attacked by termites. Any advice for me out there? Please help me save $11,000!
     
  2. Jul 28, 2011 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Learn something new everyday. I don't suppose the $11,000 included the fence to keep people from falling in the ditch. If you have to spend the money I would change the wall, it shouldn't cost any more as it already has a footing.
     
  3. Jul 28, 2011 #3

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    The wall material should have been pressure treated, even back 15 years ago.
    And the termite companies want to sell a job. The plywood can wick up moisture as they said, but what does the condition of the bottom of the plywood look like.
    The instalation of concrete does nothing to stop termites. If it's wet or not, termites bring their own moisture with them anyway through tubes.
    I would talk to another company or 3. Get more opinions and more prices.
    If your foundation is sound , only an engineer can write that for you, then you do not have an issue.
    And why do you need the warantee in the first place?
     
  4. Jul 28, 2011 #4

    allie2222

    allie2222

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    The wall they want me to pour would be AWAY from the house--keeping the dirt from touching the wood. I cannot see what condition the wood is in, because it is below ground. I have had no problems with it. The wall is definitely a pressure treated wood which was made to be used for foundations. The termite warranty means that the company has to pay for any repairs to your house in the event you have termite damage--a big problem in GA.
     
  5. Jul 29, 2011 #5

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    This all sounds really interesting. Kind of like a scare tactic to sell you work you may never need.

    I'm not trying to sell work for other inspectors. Just ask about my reputation here. However, you need the advice of a competant Home inspector to help you with this. Look for a local, American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI inspector,( more than 10 years experience) and just ask their opinion about what you are dealing with in your area. They may also have a reputable pest inspector you can talk to as to why you may not need a warrantee.
    Let me know what happens.Do your homework, and save $$, Good luck.:)
     
  6. Jul 29, 2011 #6

    allie2222

    allie2222

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    Thank you so much. I will contact them and let you know the results.
     
  7. Sep 23, 2011 #7

    allie2222

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    I did contact an ASHI inspector, and he told me he had never known of any problems with a PWF. The problem is that there are so few of them that they are almost unknown to termite companies. The inspector said I would just have to educate them.

    I ended up just having a 1 foot drainage ditch put right against the house to stop any water. I think I was just wasting my money, since I've never had any problem with water there. I had my house treated, and the termite company mailed me a warranty contract--so maybe they are going to cover me. I have to get back with them. Thank you so much for your help with this problem.
     
  8. Sep 23, 2011 #8

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Anytime, :)
     
  9. Sep 27, 2011 #9

    BridgeMan

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    I probably shouldn't bring this up, but a few years ago I had a guy call me in a panic, because an ASHI inspector (hired by the buyer for his home) had "found indications of termites throughout the property" (inspector's words, on the report).

    I spent several hours looking for evidence of termites on, in and under the house--found nothing. However, the accumulated wood shavings on the basement sill plates the inspector noted, with pictures, in his report, were nothing more than drill shavings from when the electricians had drilled holes for their rough wiring leading up from the basement into the walls. Pile of shavings at every wiring location.

    I submitted my report to the seller, stating I didn't see any evidence of termites. He called me a few days later, happily announcing that the buyer wasn't scared off by the erroneous ASHI report, accepted my opinion, and bought the place. I had to repeatedly turn down his offers to pay me more than my standard fee for my report.
     
  10. Sep 27, 2011 #10

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    We all have bad apples in our groups. Just like Nachi or Nahi. Only it continually gets everyone nowhere to bash the other group. It's the actual inspector that needs to screw up, not the association. Thanks Bridgeman, I encorage everyone to do their own homework and always get their own Pest inspector with a license...as I already said.
     
  11. Sep 27, 2011 #11

    BridgeMan

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    Actually, I wasn't bashing anyone or any group. Just stating the facts. And I'm in total agreement that there are bad apples in every group, of every profession. I'll swear that a few of the "professional" engineers I've worked with over the years had someone else take the license examinations for them.

    And for what it's worth, during the time of the "mythical termites" event, ASHI inspectors were not required to take any kind of examination to become an inspector--just fill out the application, and send in your check (if that has changed, I stand corrected). At least NACHI has always required all applicants to take and pass one or more examinations to become certified home inspectors.
     
  12. Sep 28, 2011 #12

    mudmixer

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    Normally, when there is a potential problem that requires a specialist, a home inspector would red flag an item for a purchaser to consider hiring a specialist at a higher rate. Sometimes the "red flag" is not raised or raised high enough.

    A seller often hires the meanest, most critical inspector (at a high rate) to help him prepare the home for sale.

    Dick
     
  13. Sep 28, 2011 #13

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    ASHI certified inspectors for the last 15 years have had to pass an exam. And the ASHI code of ethics has become the standard for most states with licensing. ASHI also has you do 250 verified inspections before you can even use the logo or claim to be ASHI certified. Then you need to send them in to be verified by a committee to ensure that you are covering all the aspects of a Home, and doing it right. And since last year, we are the only organization in the US of A to be third party certified from the "National commission for certifying agencies"....Fueew...jumpin off my soapbox.
    We have come a long way from those day's of old, and everyone is learning from the others mistakes.
    And for what it is worth, I have taken all of the exams given by those 3 organizations, and 2 of them where harder than the other. ;)
    I also took the ICC exams, but never paid my fee's...I was not interested in becoming a "code" inspector.

    And next month I become President of my local ASHI Chapter...fun stuff ahead, just what I need more volunteer work.:eek:
     
  14. Sep 28, 2011 #14

    oldognewtrick

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    Crannberry Jct has their own chapter??? Dang I should have 2 in my back yard then:cool:
     
  15. Sep 28, 2011 #15

    BridgeMan

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    I admire your ambition, InspectorD. And never forget the motto of good home inspectors everywhere--"I'm not a deal-breaker, the home's condition is the deal-breaker."
     
  16. Sep 28, 2011 #16

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    AMEN!!;)...someone please tell the realtor, "I just saved your ***...etts".
     
  17. Sep 28, 2011 #17

    itsreallyconc

    itsreallyconc

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    if you need anything, call me - i'm in marietta - good luck !
     
  18. Oct 2, 2011 #18

    gimazz

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    Hi Allie, I know you posted this months back but I just wanted you to know that I have a wood foundation and have lived in this home for 25 years and have never had termites and have never had the house treated. Was always under the impression that termites would not eat the treated wood. I have never seen any signs of wood damage anywhere and so far have been very pleased.







     
  19. Oct 3, 2011 #19

    dw8

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    I personally would call the county extention service in your area and ask someone to take a look.
    When I decided to treat my house for termites, I wanted to do something "unique" by pulling up all the carpets and drilling holes from the inside instead of outside where the holes would show in my concrete. The termite guy wanted the job and agreed to have the extention service come and take a look see.
    All went well.
     

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