Just saying the word “termite” can make homeowners shudder. Whenever we purchase or sell a home, it is a best practice to inspect the home. A regular home inspection will check for several things. An inspector will look for any structural, electrical, plumbing, roof, heating and cooling, or foundation issues in the home. What about pests? How will you know if your beautiful new home has an issue with termites? This is something you want to find out up front.
Termites are active in 49 of the 50 states. That is every state except Alaska! They cause more than 50 billion dollars in property damage each year. A termite colony feasting on wood can consume a pound of cellulose each day. There is good reason for homeowners to fear these invaders!
Termites are almost completely invisible and silent, so there could be a problem building before you even realize it. They eat the wood from the inside out, so they leave very little signs of their work. The warning signs are subtle. A professional pest inspector is trained to look for signs that a homeowner or even a regular structural inspector may not notice. Termites are not the only pest that can damage your home. A knowledgeable inspector can also look for signs of other wood-destroying pests such as carpenter ants. Inspecting your home for termites before the sale can save you many headaches later on.
Inspection for termites
Usually it is the seller who pays to have the inspection done. In fact, many mortgage companies require a termite inspection before authorizing the mortgage. A Wood-Destroying Insect Inspection Report (WDIIR) is a document prepared by a licensed pest control business that informs the lending institution and buyer about termite damage or presence.
Just because your inspection reveals signs of termites or other pests, it does not mean that your sale is a deal breaker. If an inspection does reveal termite activity, it might not all be bad news. The signs may be leftover from a previous infestation. The homeowner may have already resolved the issue. A qualified termite inspector will recognize the difference between current and past termite activity. An inspector may offer a guarantee or a written statement. If the home has been treated for termites, the seller should be able to provide documentation of past termite treatment and any structural repairs that have been made to fix termite damage.
Current activity may not be a deal breaker either, especially in parts of the country where termites are so prevalent. An inspector can catch the problem early. Termite activity can be dealt with fairly easily at early stages. Instead of canceling the sale, the seller could offer to have the property treated to take care of the problem.
After the Sale
After the sale, you are not finished with pest control inspections. You will want to have your new home inspected regularly. You want to check your home not just for termites, but for pests like ants, spiders, roaches, silverfish, fleas, earwigs, and even rodents. The best protection is prevention. Regular inspection can help you avoid costly infestations later.
How often should you have an inspection? This is something to talk about with your professional. It is determined by many factors such as the age of your home, the condition of your home, its size, geography, and the climate. As a general rule, you should consider an inspection at least every quarter.
If you are looking to buy or sell a home, Bug Out Pest Control can help! We can help you with your initial inspections and with termite and other ongoing pest control after the sale. We can take care of any uninvited guests in your home! Call us 317-777-5005
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