Are You Buying A Rotten Vancouver Home?

A Simple Tool

The Awl is a misunderstood house buying tool. It’s so simple that you might not even think to take one with you when you are out trying to find the perfect Vancouver home.


The majority of the homes in Vancouver real estate market are constructed from wood. Wood is remarkable for its strength and durability. After being felled it’s life span may continue for a great period of time, that is, if it is protected. In many countries it is not uncommon to find homes that are 400 years old, be on guard, moisture and insects, are its greatest enemy.

Rotten to The Core

Wood begins to rot for one reason only – moisture. Prevailing knowledge says that if the moisture content of wood exceeds 20% the chances of having problems with rot are certain. Rot is Fungi. Given the right temperature, and humidity the Fungi will thrive and eventually cause the need for potentially expensive repair.

The Old House Might Have It Awl

An awl is a perfect tool to help you determine the health of wood in any home. By inserting the pointy end into exposed wood areas you will instantly know if the wood is in good condition. If it is, the wood will resist the Awl’s intrusion. Depending on the force you apply, if the Awl enters without much resistance allowing the steel shaft to penetrate more than a 1/4 to 1/2 inch, this is most likely an indication that the wood is or has begun to deteriorate.

Of Awl the Places to Look

Older Vancouver homes invariably have areas where you can “poke” around. The most obvious areas to check are near the base of the supporting posts that run down the center of the house, the beams that the posts support, and if possible the sill plates that rest on the concrete to support the outside framework.


While “poking” around the Vancouver home please use common sense. Your intent is not to damage the home. Rather, it is determine a simple diagnosis of the structure’s condition.

Ultimately, the best solution is to hire a trained and certified home inspector to best guide you.

Common Sense

For those who lack it, this is for you. Don’t ever stick the Awl into wiring, outlets or plumbing.


I’m always happy to answer your Vancouver Real Estate question? Call or send me an email Twitter or Skype me at YatterMatters.


*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed. **Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

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*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

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