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Rot inspections during freezing weather


Brandon Whitmore
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What do all of you do, or disclaim in the report when attempting to inspect for rot during freezing weather?

Any rotted wood that has any moisture content will freeze solid making the inspection very difficult if not impossible at times.

In my area, we aren't often above freezing temp's during the day, so it isn't an issue............. 'til this week.

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I think that when you've done enough inspections, a visual observation can identify rot before the surface is even probed.

I can't agree with you 100% because I have been shocked to find damage where the material looked fine on the surface. This is why inspectors probe, sound, or push on certain materials. Obviously, there will be many instances where what you say is true, but not always.

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Brandon,

I fully agree with you ...... you can see some of the rot some of the time, you can't see all the rot all the time.

A while back I was inspecting a crawl space just a crawlin' along and a stabbin' the Rim Joist when out of the blue my screwdriver went flying through the wood. All of the wood up to that point was fine and this wood did not look any different. But it was toast!

I have not done very many inspections when the temperature has been below freezing for a prolonged amount of time (which is a good thing in a way). But it seems to me that the rotted wood would still be softer that the surounding sound wood. Even frozen, it would have no strctural integrity. If you were to pry on it, you should be able to tell it was rotted by the break out pattern. Just a thought.

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Hi Scott,

But it seems to me that the rotted wood would still be softer that the surounding sound wood. Even frozen, it would have no strctural integrity. If you were to pry on it, you should be able to tell it was rotted by the break out pattern. Just a thought.

I can't remember the details, but there has been at least one time I found that the rotted material was just as solid, if not more solid than the surrounding areas. Picture rotted, yet water saturated wood that is frozen like a cellulose ice cube. I'm pretty sure it looked really rotted (bad memory though), so I went back after the deep freeze and the material was in fact very soft/ rotted. It just makes me wonder if I am missing anything I wouldn't have during normal conditions.

Judging by the lack of responses or confirmation of this problem from others, this may have been the exception rather than the rule. Or heck, maybe I'm just nuts.

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