Is a sheet rock ceiling in an unfinished field stone basement a cover up for termite damage? The home currently has a sentricon system & a warranty.

Asked by Nola, Hartville, OH Thu Aug 30, 2012

We are looking to purchase a home that comes with a warranty for the sentricon termite monitoring system. The seller has agreed to pay for an additional year of the monitoring warranty.

During our home inspection we found that there were new pieces of treated wood along the wall where the basement met the bottom of the garage, and along the other foundation wall at the top.

Our home inspector could not find any damage, it had apparently been repaired, but his inspection was limited by the sheet rock ceiling. We could not see the beams. He said this was strange for a field stone basement, but did not say it was a red flag.

Is this a red flag? What are other reasons this may have been done? I contacted a pest company who said they too would have a limited idea of current or past damage unless a portion of the sheet rock could be removed.

Help! We have not signed the P&S yet.

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Duncan Donah…, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Jun 28, 2013
Hello Nola - You ask a very good question that should definitely not be overlooked - I recommend that you ask the listing agent / broker if there is any disclosures related to the sheetrock ceiling - Also, be sure to ask your inspector to pay special attention tho the basement ceiling for any indication of cover-up, etc... There may be nothing to hide, but it is best to know the situation before signing P&S or purchasing the property. Good luck! Regards, Duncan A. Donahue - VP, Broker, Keller Williams Realty
0 votes
Jessie Cuddy, Agent, Dorchester, MA
Sun Sep 2, 2012
This might sound foolish but why not ask the current owner? Are there folks out there who would not tell the truth..for sure. But plenty of my sellers are more than happy to share and disclose exactly what they know. Maybe they put it there for a reason.

Call me foolish but that's where I would start. Best of luck.

Jessie Cuddy, Realtor
Boston Bayside Properties
2253a Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02124
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Heath Coker, Agent, Falmouth, MA
Fri Aug 31, 2012
Removing a piece of the sheet rock is the only definitive way to answer your dilema. Of course that would only answer the question for the space you could then see. If there is a warranty, and the pest company doesn't have a lot of "outs" in their contract, you might rely on that. What does your lawyer say?

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Mario Pavli, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Aug 31, 2012
It's not a red flag, I would just get a pest inspector just to be safe. If you haven't signed the P&S make sure that you cover all of your bases by getting an answer ASAP.
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James Furlong, Agent, Brookline, MA
Thu Aug 30, 2012
The only way to really know is to examine beneath the sheet-rock. Not a difficult job and easy to re-do.
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Louis Wolfs…, Agent, Needham, MA
Thu Aug 30, 2012
1st you want to see if the company that installed the sentricon system will stand behind the warranty that should be transferable. Typically the warranty will cover you for any new damage.

2nd if you question it and want piece of mind get the owners permission to open it up the most logical location for potential damage and then you can pay to have it closed up and painted.

it typically would not be a red flag as the home owner when they put the ceiling in would of corrected an issue, as they at the time were improving things, not selling. it would not of been a costly fix prior to the ceiling going in.
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This is a home that was purchased and renovated within 2 months and put back on the market.

All they did was put in a new kitchen and 2 new baths, and it was such a quick flip that you could still see the home on in it's "old version" so we are unsure if the sheet rock was installed by the new seller (an agent), or the previous homeowner.

Are you saying even if there is damage, it would not be a huge expense to repair?
Flag Thu Aug 30, 2012
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Thu Aug 30, 2012
It may or may not be a red flag, If you have not made an offer make it part of your offer that this area could be inpected to make sure. A pest expert is best to do inspections to see if they are current. In some areas it is common for termites, if they are treated and the damage repaired, it could be ok, they need to look to be able to tell you though.
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