We are talking security here. This is important. Every homeowner wants to think that his or her home is difficult to break into. A breach of security can have devastating consequences. Homeowners often buy the best doors, the best locks and they join block watch groups. But sometimes those consumers miss the most dangerous prowlers when those prowlers are on-site and casing the joint. If you think that is an exaggeration, then let me show you a photo of a prowler that I saw recently.
This prowler was scoping things out from the outside, in the backyard, in broad daylight. When such a prowler is seen, then a homeowner has to ask another question: Has this prowler already been inside, or has the activity been confined to casing the joint on the outside? Sometimes, to find out for sure, you have to look in the attic or, more likely, the crawl space.
In this case, the crawl space insulation lets us know that the prowler, and many other carpenter ant friends and associates in crime, has been down in the crawl space and damaging the building materials. These clues are the kinds of dots that the structural pest inspector has to connect together during the course of a home inspection.
In Washington state, an individual licensed as a home inspector, without also being licensed as a structural pest inspector, is not allowed to report on activity by wood destroying insects. The licensed structural pest inspector, who is also a licensed home inspector, is allowed to report on all facets of the condition of the home and property. In this state, when people buy a home with any age on it, it usually behooves them to hire a dual-licensed inspector.
A video that I prepared, on carpenter ants, is available below.