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Clearance

Check the distance between the bottom of the wood elements and the ground surface or the grade level.



In locations that have little or no snow, the distance should be no less than 8 inches. In locations with significant lasting snow, the bottom of wood elements should be no less than 8 inches above the average snow depth. In the inspection image below, the inspector observed a piece of missing vinyl siding near the grade level.


To protect the wooden components of the house from decay, there are some standards. If the wooden component isn't naturally durable wood or wood that is preservative-treated, then there are a few clearance measurements to keep in mind.


Think of 8 inches, 6 inches, and 2 inches.


Wood framing components that rest on concrete or masonry foundation walls should be at least 8 inches from the ground surface. Wood siding, wood sheathing, and wall framing on the exterior of a building should have at least 6 inches of clearance from the ground surface. If there's a concrete step, porch slab, patio slab, or other similar horizontal surface exposed to the weather below the wood siding, sheathing, or wall framing, then there should be at least 2 inches of clearance.


The homeowner should never pile up against the house wall landscaping materials, such as wood chips and mulch. Wood piles for heating should not be stored up against the house.

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