Featured Home Inspection: Structural Rot Issue in New Westminster

This week’s featured inspection is from an older home in the Sapperton area of New Westminster. The home was built in the 1930-40’s.

The siding showed extensive repair/alteration. At first we thought the house had been raised, however upon inspecting the basement it turned out not to be the case.

The grading of the lot (sloping) was extremely poor and in many areas, water was splashing against the base of the wall framing. Whenever soil is stacked against the base of the wall (or higher), seepage and rot can occur and cause huge damage to the structure of the home.

Diagram Courtesy of Carson-Dunlop

Measurement from inside showed the base of the wood wall framing to be right behind the flashing. We probed the wood and found serious rot in multiple areas. The worst-hit areas were those right beside downspouts (where splashing/overflow can occur).

One trick for determining the height of wall framing, is to find a reference point (a window works well) at the interior of the home, and to measure the height to the top of the concrete foundation wall. Then perform the same measurement outside.

We believe the homeowner had added flashing to the base of the stucco in an attempt to promote water drainage away from the sill plate (bottom plate of wall).

The downspout connection  in the previous photo was covered, however we observed it to be overflowing against the home during the inspection. The drain tiles were likely blocked.

Due to the poor design of the wall, and deterioration suspected, we recommended further review by a structural contractor. They came and gave a quote for almost $40,000 for structural repair/rebuilding of the affected walls.

About the Author DavidFairbairn

Author David Fairbairn is a certified, licensed home inspector serving Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. He has been featured in the media and has contributed to "24" Newspaper, and Global TV. He has spent years working with residential and commercial building projects, and holds a Power Engineering License in BC. Why not give him a call for your next Home Inspection? Call 604 395-2795 or email david@fairbairninspections.com today!

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