Termite inspections are often required in order to secure funding to purchase a home (especially older ones). But they are always a good idea whether it’s required or not. The risk of termite damage to wooden structures is higher for older houses; that is why older premises are more in need of inspections. Here’s what you may want to know concerning the process of most home termite inspections that are carried out by pest control companies.
The Termite Inspection Process
During these inspections, the pest professional will closely examine all areas of the property that are accessible. These areas include the entire interior of the home, the attic, the basement, and any crawlspaces that may be present. After this has been completed, the professional will inspect the exterior, especially areas that are dark and damp, as these spots are much more prone to termite problems.
Throughout the inspection the exterminator is looking for key evidence such as the actual physical presence of termites, termite tubes (they resemble dirt trails along the sides of the walls), and signs of termite damage, which are easily spotted by a trained eye.
In order to make the inspection easier for the exterminator, there are several things that can be done in advance to increase access to all areas. These things include:
Inside the home:
- Make sure all basements, crawlspaces, and attics have clear openings and can be easily entered by the inspector.
- Move items and furniture away from the walls to create at least a two foot clearance space.
- Clear away all items from under the sinks in the bathrooms and kitchen.
Outside the home:
- Trim back plantings that are close to exterior walls.
- Clear out all debris and dead plantings that are close to the foundation.
- Remove excess soil that reaches above the bottom of the siding.
- Move all extra wood (such as firewood or extra building materials) away from the home.
A typical inspection usually lasts no more than one hour, and may be wrapped up in as little as thirty to forty-five minutes. Upon completion, if no termite evidence is found, the inspector will issue a written certificate stating these findings. If evidence or damage is found, a list of recommended repairs and treatments will be provided in a detailed report.
A typical termite report will include the following elements:
- The observed evidence (whether live termites, trails, or damage).
- The amount of “wood to ground” contact; such as wood siding that is touching the ground, wood fences that are touching the ground, or other wood items that are touching the actual structure.
- The amount of extra moisture noticed in the home; such as excess humidity, leaking pipes, or condensation.
- An assessment as to the total amount of cellulose debris around the home.
- A notation as to how many areas of the home were inaccessible for inspection.
- Any evidence of previous treatments, and if those treatments had any warranties against future damage.
- A recommended course of action to correct and prevent future termite damage.
In addition to termite treatments, a termite warranty may also be offered. This warranty insures the overall condition of the home and is usually renewed every year following a visual inspection by the exterminator.
Termite Inspection Cost
The cost of a termite inspection is relatively low; usually under one hundred dollars. If evidence of termites is found, treatment plans range a bit in price, but typically average about five hundred dollars.
Home termite inspections can give both homeowners and lenders better peace of mind. Most homeowners would feel comfortable if the entire procedure is done by a trained professional, but it’s still good to equip yourself with some knowledge about how it is usually done.
That being said, termite treatment proper is not something that can or should be done by someone without adequate knowledge or training. Not only are all the chemicals used to treat issues toxic, they need to be applied properly in order to prevent future damage. Taking the time to hire a reputable, licensed exterminator can be a good investment in safeguarding the future of your home.