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Roof Leakage Causes Termite Damage
Roof leaks are often identified by a dark staining of the plywood roof sheathing (decking) and framing in the attic.  If allowed to continue uncorrected, water damaged wooden components often begin to rot due to a wood destroying fungus (wood rot) that grows in and quickly decays the wood.

At first glance, the roof sheathing and truss framing shown in the photo above appears to be rotting from Wood Destroying Fungi.  However, upon closer inspection (CLICK on image to enlarge), we see that in addition to fungi, termites have also infested the decaying wood; a common occurrence as termites and other wood destroying insects zero in on rotting wood as a source of food or to nest.  The result is a potentially expensive repair due the fact that the roof cover will need to be removed to allow access to the damaged components for removal.  In addition, as the photograph shows, the damage to the trusses (framing members) holding up the roof system is structural in nature and requires corrective action to restore and ensure structural integrity to the roofing system.

During the inspection that uncovered the condition, the home inspector observed that the framing members pictured had been completely "hollowed" by the termites which feed on the cellulose grains inside the wood.   Simply grabbing the 2 x 8 would have crushed it to pieces.

Roof leaks commonly occur at flashing areas where protrusions pass through the roof surface (such as vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights).  But roof leaks can also occur at seams or connection areas such as valleys and flashing areas where a lower roof slope meets a cheek wall.

click on image above to enlarge

The digital photo above was taken by a Guardian® home inspector during a pre-purchase home inspection.

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