WDO (Wood Destroying Organism)
Wood is a biological material. If protected from moisture and insect attack, it can last for centuries. When wood is not properly protected, however, it will succumb to biological processes that decompose wood: insects that eat the wood or fungi that cause rot and decay. The most damaging insects that attack structural wood are termites. Their activity results in damage and control costs that exceed $1.5 billion per year nationally. Beetles are the next important group of insects that attack wood, while bees, wasps, and ants are third in importance, depending on geographical location. Wood-inhabiting fungi are another group of organisms that occasionally cause problems.
The purpose of the WDO inspection and report in a real estate transaction is to provide the parties with a factual report of the inspector’s observations as to the presence or absence of visible evidence of WDO, this based on a careful and professional visual inspection of the areas that were open and accessible for visual inspection within or on the structure(s) listed on the real estate contract on the day that the inspection was performed.
In the same order of ideas it is fair to say that Home Inspectors have a broad and solid knowledge of how a house works, its components, its interrelation; they know what are the external and internal agents that can infer the security, stability, and durability of the home, but at some point, they may consider that the client needs to consult an expert, as when a general practitioner refers a person to a specialist, seeking a deeper diagnosis, answers to the problems detected and the necessary remediation to avoid unpredictable consequences. This could eventually the case of a house infected or in the process to be infected by WDO.
In general, the WDO inspection performed by a Home Inspector as part of its comprehensive report is a good first step to state the presence or not of one or more kind of WDO.