Search This Blog

How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE


More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. What is engineered wood siding?

  2. What should I bring to the home inspection?

  3. What is the difference between Acrocrete and EIFS?

  4. Can vinyl siding be painted?

  5. Should I be suspicious about a concrete block house covered with siding?

  6. How do I remove cigarette odor in a house?

  7. Do you have any home inspection tips for buyers?

  8. There’s an old fuel oil tank underground in the yard. Is it a problem?

  9. What’s is my chance of buying a Gainesville home over a sinkhole?

  10. How can I prevent mold in my Florida winter home when I’m gone for the summer?

  11. Should I buy a fixer-upper?

  12. What happens at a home inspection?

  13. What’s my chance of buying a Gainesville home over a sinkhole?

  14. I’d swear that crack wasn’t there yesterday. What happened?

  15. Is my house near that Superfund cleanup site in Gainesville?

  16. What should I wear to a home inspection?

  17. What can you tell me about buying a house with structural problems? It’s priced cheap!

  18. What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

  19. What problems should I look for when buying a country house in a rural area?

  20. What problems do you look for when a house has been vacant or abandoned?

  21. What is the difference between a building inspector and a home inspector?

  22. How do sellers try to fool the home inspector?

  23. What are the requirements for a room to classified as a bedroom?

  24. How does a home inspector evaluate wood rot?

  25. What is the difference between an FHA inspection and a home inspection?

  26. What are the common problems of different types of house foundations?

  27. What is the average life expectancy of a house?

  28. What is the life expectancy of stucco?

  29. What is the average life expectancy of plywood siding?

  30. Why is a double cylinder deadbolt lock on an exterior door a safety hazard?

  31. What is Z-flashing?

  32. What is the difference between a clip, single wrap, and double wrap for the wind mitigation form?

  33. What is a “continuous load path”?

  34. Is a ridge board/beam required for a roof framed with rafters?

  35. What are the pros and cons of aluminum siding?

  36. Why does the laminate wood floor move when I walk across it?

  37. What causes paint to peel prematurely on the exterior of a house?

  38. What does freeze damaged brick look like?

  39. Why is my stucco cracking?

  40. What are the pros and cons of concrete block versus wood frame construction?

  41. Why is a horizontal board running along the bottom of the plywood siding of the house?

  42. Why would a house with Hardieplank siding have exterior wood rot problems?

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

  1. 3)Maintenance of paint finish and caulking - Dry wood does not rot. It’s that simple. Keeping a waterproof barrier between the wood surface and the weather, using paint or another waterproof coating on the surface of the wood and caulk at any seams, is important. Although siding with rustic, weather-worn paint has lots of “character,” it’s also the most vulnerable to wood rot.
        What is commonly called “dry rot” is a misnomer. The term has been used to describe decayed wood that has since dried and ceased decay. Some people erroneously assume that the wood is still in the process of decay but, because moisture is required for wood rot, no literal “dry rot” exists.

  2. 4)Water traps - When wood siding and trim is installed improperly, so that a surface is created that is not slanted or sealed properly, if it holds even a small puddle of water after a rainfall, that’s called a “water trap.” Construction professionals diligently avoid them because wood rot always starts at the water traps first.

  3. 5)Siding profile - Some of the fancier profiles for wood lap siding seem to have a shorter life. The one shown in the photo at the top of this page, called “novelty” siding, is one example. The scoop shape under each lap tends to lose it’s paint finish sooner, making it slightly more vulnerable to rot in that area.

    What can you do to make your wood siding last longer? Carefully maintain the paint finish and caulking around openings, and eliminate any water traps. Dry wood will theoretically last forever; but, of course, that never happens.

   To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post “How accurate are the average lifespan ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?”


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

Click Below to Link
to Collections of
Blog Posts by Subject

Search This Blog