A Georgia Family Bought A Home Containing Hidden Moldy Lumber That Attracted Termites, Resulting In Severe Structural Damage

March 28, 2019 | Posted In: General

It is common knowledge that a home should be inspected for termites and other pest issues before being purchased. In some states, homes are legally required to undergo a termite inspection before being sold. In states where these inspections are not legally required, you can be sure that a lending agency won’t give out loans to home-buyers without first receiving a termite inspection report for the home. This ensures lending agencies that a home purchased with borrowed money is free from termites, and therefore, can be paid-off without issue. Unfortunately, termite inspectors can miss infestations that are located within inaccessible areas of a home. For example, last summer, a family purchased a home in Fayette County that turned out to have termites. But the infestation was not noticed by the inspector before purchasing the house, as the previous owners had allegedly made a successful attempt to cover up the infestation and the damage that it had caused.

In addition to being infested with termites, it appeared as though the termites had been feeding on moldy wood. This moldy wood, which several studies suggest attract termites, posed a danger to the family, forcing them to live out of their RV located in their new home’s driveway. What is particularly aggravating to the family was the fact that the house was advertised as being fully renovated. However, this renovation covered much of the compromised lumber that had become damaged by termites.

The family first noticed the infestation when taking down the kitchen cupboards. Apparently, the previous owners had applied new drywall over the termite infestation. Several studs had been eaten away by termites, and new screws had been used to install a board over the infested area, clearly indicating that the previous owners had been trying to hide the termite damage. According to records, the house was purchased by the previous owners for 76,000 dollars, but they sold it to the family a short while later for 189,900 dollars. The termite inspector could not have found the damage unless he/she removed the drywall within the kitchen. Not surprisingly, the infested area had a buildup of moisture due to a pipe leak, which likely attracted the termites and contributed to the mold. The family is now pursuing compensation in court.

Do you believe that termite damage is commonly hidden by homeowners looking to sell their home?