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Home Termite Inspections: What To Expect

Termites

Termites (Photo credit: Gnilenkov Aleksey)

There will be a multitude of things on your mind when purchasing a new home, and although a termite inspection may not be at the top of your list, you certainly don’t want to brush it off and find out later that you are being invaded by the wood-eating tiny creatures. Becoming a responsible homeowner from the beginning will only help prevent what could cost you dearly in the end. While most insects that find their way into your home are just considered a nuisance, termites can cause serious damage and leave your home in shambles. Termites can go undetected for years, not only eating away at the wood-framed structure you’re living in, but also feeding on books, papers, furniture, carpet, cloth and insulation. This is why professional termite inspections are recommended at least once a year to prevent infestations or detect an already existing problem. Areas determined to be high risk should be inspected more frequently.

What To Expect During A Termite Inspection

 

Termite Visual Inspection Zone

Termite Visual Inspection Zone (Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold)

An inspector should begin by going over any areas of concern the homeowner may have to get a better understanding of any signs of termites already recognized. From that point, the inspector will continue their interior and exterior search for three things: current activity, past activity and potential access. Current activity would show evidence of the actual insects, either in the damage they are causing or in the mud tubes they create to travel from soil to structure.

Inspectors are also trained to look for exit holes and droppings, which are strong indicators your home has been violated by the pests. Past activity is determining old wood damage by termites in particular without an indication that they are still present. Potential access allows the proprietor to know of any places in their home that could prove easy entry to termites and cause future infestations, such as cracks in the foundation, wood-to-ground contact, exposed and untreated wood and moisture sources.

A complete list of the inspected areas will be provided, and if it is determined treatment is needed, discussing options and pricing will conclude the inspection, which typically takes 45 minutes to an hour.

What About Do-It-Yourself Inspections?

 

Termite mud tube found in pest inspection

Termite mud tube found in pest inspection (Photo credit: danielmoyle)

Doing a termite inspection yourself is not recommended in most cases. For an accurate report of damage or potential damage to your home enlisting the service of a properly trained and licensed professional is the way to go, and in most states any real estate transaction involving a wood-destroying insect inspection requires the appropriate training on biology, construction and control of termites. Experienced inspectors use tools when searching homes that a typical homeowner doesn’t have access to, like probing tools, moisture meters, infrared camera technology that can reveal termite tubes and moisture infiltration in hidden areas.

Making termite inspections part of your home maintenance routine will prevent or minimize damage and save you the headache of a much bigger problem down the road. Your home is arguably the biggest investment you’ll ever make, and putting that in jeopardy to save a couple extra bucks just isn’t worth it.

Tiffany Olson works a small firm in California where her primary duty is to educate the public by blogging on many topics including termite inspection in Union City. On her off time you’ll most likely find her enjoying outdoor activities or hanging out with good friends.

 

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