Our job as your professional home inspector is to alert you, to the
extent possible, to unknown problems and potential environmental hazards in your current or potential house. Ours is a non-invasive
visual inspection of your property. While we may be able to alert you to possible problems, our basic inspections are no substitutes
for specialized contaminant testing.
Radon is a radioactive gaseous element produced
in the disintegration of radium, a radioactive metallic element. It cannot be detected by the senses and can be confirmed
only by sophisticated instruments and laboratory tests. The gas enters a house through pores and cracks in the concrete or
through floorboards of poorly ventilated crawlspaces, especially when wet ground allows the gas to escape easily through the
soil and disperse in the atmosphere. Radon is a lung carcinogen: the National Academy of Sciences estimates radon causes some
15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths annually. The U.S. Surgeon General and the EPA recommend all houses be tested for radon.
Houses with high radon levels can be fixed.
Excerpts from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Indoor Radon”.
which play a positive role in recycling wood and plant material, become a problem when they consume structural lumber. Every
year thousands of U.S. housing units require termite treatment. These pests cause serious damage to wooden structures and
posts and can also attack stored food, household furniture, and books. Successful termite management requires special skills,
including a working knowledge of building construction and an understanding of termite biology and identification. In most
cases, it is advisable to hire a professional pest control company for the inspection and control problem.
Wood-boring beetle larvae feed on wood and wood products. Adults of some species bore holes
into plaster, plastic, and soft metals. Many species cause problems when emerging from wood in newly constructed buildings
because they leave small circular or oval exit holes in the wood. To avoid these problems, infested wood must be kiln-fried
before being used for lumber. The species Deathwatch Beetles is primarily found in soft woods (girder, beams, foundation timbers,
some types of furniture, with some species attacking books). False Powderpost female beetles bore a tunnel, or egg gallery,
into wood or other materials, then deposit eggs in pores or cracks within the tunnel. Adults of some species bore through
such soft metal as lead and silver, as well as plaster and other non-wood materials. Affected structural wood should be removed
and replaced whenever possible.
Wood Wasps and Horntails. Wood wasp damage
in buildings is likely to be more cosmetic than structurally weakening. Emerging wood wasps can chew through any substance:
wallboard or plaster walls, hardwood floors, carpeting, linoleum, non-ceramic floor tiles, and other interior surfaces.
Carpenter Ants. Several species can damage wood in building and other structures.
Though ants don’t eat wood, they bore into it to make their nests, sometimes causing serious structural damage. Also,
they nest in hollow doors, cracks and crevices, furniture, wall voids, and termite galleries. New building infestation occurs
when land-cleaning in the area disturbs existing native colonies.
Excerpts from University of California Agriculture
& Natural Resources, UCIPMOnline, “Statewide Pest Management Program”.