Without a doubt, termites are among the worst nightmares of homeowners. If these insects are not immediately exterminated, they can cause significant damage. Fortunately, there’s a way to fight back—and it’s by getting a termite inspection.
What’s Termite Inspection?
It’s a process of examining a structure for any existence or activity of termites. This is mostly done by qualified people, but a homeowner can also do this. Of course, the inspection’s accuracy and thoroughness depends on having the right knowledge and equipment to track the tiny insects.
Termite inspections are required by most sales contracts. This is to ensure the integrity of the house’s structure. It’s a way of knowing with enough certainty whether all wooden parts are indeed intact and not hollow inside.
Signs of Termite Infestation
As with any problem, early detection is crucial. If you notice any of these signs, getting a termite inspection done is likely necessary:
Termites are sneaky. They eat wood from the inside, which is why you usually won’t see any damage on the surface.
A termite inspector or exterminator is able to detect if the inside of the wood is hollower than it should be. They tap on the wood to determine this. If the sound is low or flat, it’s possible that there had been termite activity inside.
If the area is already in the advanced disintegration stage, little bits of mud will be seen inside the termite-damaged wood.
Mud in Construction Joints
Termites make themselves more comfortable by sealing small gaps with dirt. If there is crusted dirt in what used to be small holes inside the house or around your property, this is a sign of termite infestation.
Evidence of Swarmers
Subterranean termites (aka winged termites) are most common. Male termites, or alates, fly off to create their own nests during humid weather or when there temperature is mild.
Termite nests release these alates in swarms, sometimes simultaneously, leading to quick dispersal. If there are swarmers near the windows, there’s likely a major termite infestation.
Wood in Your Landscape
Checking features inside and around the house that can harbor termites is a must. This can prevent any termites from nesting in your property. Wood fencing adjacent to the house can be a termite’s way into your home. This is also one place that exterminators check for any termite infestation.
Existence of Mud tubes
Mud tubes or shelter tubes are like covered highways for termites. They use this to travel into exposed spaces like concrete footers.
Mud tubes are made of wood cellulose, soil, and other particulate matter. They are about as thick as a drinking straw or pencil. You can actually determine if a mud tube is new or from an old termite infestation.
Start by removing a small section of the tube. Make sure to keep both ends undisturbed. If after a few days the breach is sealed back, this means termites are a currently active in the area.
Piles of Wings
Termites have entered their next phase of development when there are shed wings around the area.
Now that you’re a bit more familiar with the signs of an infestation, you’re wondering about the places typically inspected by termite experts. While some have been already mentioned, there are a few other spots that you may find intriguing (or concerning, depending on how bad things are):
The pros in pest control will also check every room and space inside the structure, including toilets and bedroom. This includes all the substructure area and the attic. They will also be searching for signs of leaking pipes, presence of other pests, and moisture-damaged wood.
Once the Inspection’s Over
When done assessing the situation, the exterminator will look over the results and jot down the key findings. From there, recommendations are then given to the homeowner or the building owner.
If there’s strong evidence pointing towards the presence of an infestation, immediate treatment would most certainly be recommended. This is regardless of whether any active infestations have been spotted in the main structure.
Have you heard about termite inspection reports? This is a document provided by all licensed home inspectors or pest control companies. A report contains details on the findings, and reveal whether the inspector found any evidence of pests in your home.
A termite report outlines items that indicate the presence of termites. This includes visual indicators such as tree damage. The report also contains information on the damage or other issues that can lead to termite infestation.
Simply put, a termite inspection report provides valuable information that property sellers and buyers need to know. It’s important to have a copy of the report so you can take advantage of any repairs or warranties that the termite company offers.
Value of Termite Inspection
Most lending institutions require termite inspection for buyers or sellers of houses and other similar spaces. This ensures that a particular piece of real estate had been inspected and treated. In fact, for buyers, termite inspection is needed to ensure the property’s value.
A property that has no findings of infestation will be valued higher than one that’s infected. A homeowner, upon finding out that there’s an infestation, may finally seek solutions. This makes the property saleable to potential buyers without sacrificing value.
Truth be told, resolving the issue in a timely manner saves homeowners a lot of money. If a house has not been inspected and termite infestation has greatly progressed, it’s to be expected that much more serious problems would eventually pop up.
So, What’s the Bottom Line?
Although homeowners can inspect their properties on their own, having termite inspections done by a professional is always a better course of action. These experts can assess the situation more thoroughly and can give recommendations about possible solutions.