Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Whatcom County Home Inspector (King of the House) Wood Decay

Wood that is continually exposed to high moisture levels will decay. The term used mainly in this state is wood decay fungi. What is meant is plain old rot.

Wood, when it is at 20% or higher moisture levels is prone to rotting. If I see a damp environment in a crawl space, I often will put in the moisture meter and see what kind of moisture readings I get.

The moisture readings here, under a modular commercial building in Bellingham, were over 30%. Overtime there is probably going to be a final consequence -- the wood will rot away.

Thanks for stopping by,

Steven L. Smith



Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 3 commentsSteven L. Smith • October 11 2010 01:41PM


I had this very thing kill one of my deals when all that moisture was found in the floor joists.

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) over 9 years ago

Do they call that a "conducive condition" in the NW?  And is 19% considered acceptable?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

I would say that is moist. It looks like a relatively new building at least what we can see, something is not right to keep that moisture trapped in the space.

Posted by Dennis Chamberlain, Eastern WA Home Inspections (Eastern WA Home Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago