When is an access panel considered not accessible for a Florida termite (WDO) inspector?
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Let’s start with a definition of “access panel,” according to the “Baseline Practices for Performing 13645 WDO Inspections,” a document prepared by members of the Florida pest control industry, University of Florida, and FDACS (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the division of Florida government that regulates WDO inspections):
Access Panel – a visible and unobstructed removable cover, plate or panel installed specifically for the purposes of conducting a visual inspection of the interior of a wall or void.
So if a panel is not visible, or the cover is obstructed in some way, or the panel is not specifically for visual inspection of an area—then an inspector is not required to open it. Some examples are:
• An access panel that is nailed in place. Nails are difficult to replace once removed.
• One that has screws that are inset with slots filled with paint or caulk.
• A panel that is extremely corroded or rotted and may fall apart when removed.
• An access panel that has been sealed with caulk, like in the photo above. Might be removed with permission of homeowner, unless caulking is extremely heavy.
• Damaging the panel or surrounding wall is necessary to open the panel.
To read a copy of the complete “Baseline Practices” document, click on the link below:
Also, see our blog posts Is the WDO (termite) inspector allowed to poke holes in my wood siding and trim? and What are the minimum access openings for a termite (WDO) inspector in Florida for a crawl space and attic, and within these spaces? and Do termites eat concrete?
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To learn more about termites, see these other blog posts:
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