When purchasing a new home, you should take every precaution to ensure it is free of termites and other wood destroying insects. There is a saying.......it is not if your home will get termites, it's when. It is unusual to see a house older than twenty years that has not had termites or a termite treatment. I am licensed through the Texas Department of Agriculture to perform termite / WDI (wood destroying insect) inspections and I can perform this inspection at the same time as your home inspection. This makes the home buying process easier and less stressful since you do not have to find another company to perform this service. This requires a separate license, training and insurance to perform WDI inspections and most inspectors are not licensed for this and will usually call a pest company to come out for the inspection. With me, you will know who will performing this inspection for you, along with my 1 year warranty on all qualified termite inspections.
Do I really need a termite / WDI inspection? Unless you are buying a brand new home, the answer is yes. For the low cost of a termite inspection, would it not be worth the peace of mind knowing your home is free of termites? I have seen homes less that three years old with termite infestation. Most lenders will require a WDI report to be submitted for the home loan, especially FHA and VA loans, so you should ask your sales agent or loan officer if this will be a requirement. My charge for this inspection and official Texas report is $60.00 if performed with a general home inspection. To see a sample of a WDI inspection report.......click here
What does the termite inspection and entail? The inspection is a visual inspection of the interior, exterior and attic of the home to look for signs of active or previous signs of infestation. It should be noted that this is a visual inspection only and does not guarantee that there could be a hidden infestation as in wall cavities. It may take time for termites inside walls to show signs of their presence. Unlike a general home inspection, a WDI inspection can be considered a "pass or fail" inspection. If active insects are found, a treatment will be needed before a clear report can be issued. If there are no active insects are found but there are conducive conditions, a preventive treatment or corrective measures may be required.
What are conducive conditions? Conducive conditions are defined as conditions that promote the presence of wood destroying insects. Some lenders require that conducive conditions be corrected, even if there are no active insects found. Here is a list of conducive conditions:
Wood to ground contact
Heavy foliage in contact with the house
Wood debris and firewood near or against the house
High soil around the foundation
Insufficient ventilation (pier and beam homes)
Other conducive conditions are wooden fences in contact with the house, wooden decks in contact with the house and planter boxes but are considered conducive by design and should not be a factor for the home loan.
I am selling my house, how can I be sure my house is free of conducive conditions? To prepare your house for a WDI inspection, follow these tips:
Be sure all wood and wood products such as firewood, foundation form boards and cardboard are free and clear from any contact to the house. If the house has a pier and beam foundation, make sure all wood and paper debris is remove from under the house.
Make sure all trees, shrubs and other foliage are trimmed at least 8 inches from touching the house.
Replace all rotted exterior wood siding and trims
Remove or regrade high soils around the foundation to expose the foundation wall.
Make sure hose faucets are not dripping and gutter downspouts are diverting water away from the house.
What are all the wood destroying insects? Termites The most common wood destroying insect found in this area is the subterranean termite. There are also drywood and dampwood termites but subterranean termites are the most frequently found. For more information on termites.......click here
Carpenter ants Carpenter ants are large ants that do not actually eat wood but build their nests in primarily soft and rotted wood. These can sometimes be hard to spot during the day since they tend to be nocturnal and are most active after dark.
Wood boring beetles Wood boring beetles are tiny beetles that bore tiny holes in mostly hardwoods to lay their young and are most commonly found in the home's cabinets. Signs of these beetles are small holes in the wood with a fine powder under the holes.
Carpenter Bees Carpenter bees are large bees that bore holes in wood to nest. Signs of carpenter bees are large holes in wood and sawdust under the holes.