If you look closely at this picture, you’ll see little holes in the wood. These are anobiid beetle exit holes. Elevated moisture conditions in wood leads to WDO (wood destroying organism) activity and damage. Insect damaged structural elements like these are typically replaced, depending on the severity of damage. When replacing exterior deck structural elements, I highly recommend using pressure-treated wood products to prevent WDO activity and extend serviceable life. Untreated exterior elements will deteriorate over time and are at risk of WDO damage. This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
WDO, or wood destroying organism, activity can be prevalent in Anacortes, Washington homes and is frequently called out by home inspectors and structural pest inspectors alike. One of the inevitable questions that arises from the home inspection, however, is whether the damaged structural element requires replacement or not. This is typically referred to the qualified contractor to further evaluate and assess. But, this involves a certain amount of guesswork to be sure. The other day on the beach, I found a piece of wood that, one the one side looked like typical damage but didn’t appear wholly deteriorated. Flipping this piece of wood over, however, revealed an entirely different story; the wood was extensively damaged. I took pictures that are quite graphic and illustrative. Therefore, I created a short video (2:43) about this subject and displayed the piece of wood illustrating the point. I hope you take the time to view it.