Most homeowners don’t even think about having their home inspected for termites. Yet, when a mortgage company offers to finance a home, it’s one of the first things they ask for. That’s because they don’t want to lend a large sum of money for a home that has the potential to be destroyed by termites. A home should be inspected for termites a minimum of once every two years. If you’ve had a termite problem in the past, you should have it inspected once every year. Most Exterminators don’t even charge for the inspection so there is really no excuse.
But What Does a Great Inspection Look Like?
First, make sure you choose a reputable company. This is extremely important because the industry can get a little “seedy” and it wouldn’t be the first time that a homeowner was told they have termites when there is no sign of evidence. Your local, family owned business is your best bet. Even still, if they tell you have termites, get a second opinion to be sure. You can also tell a lot about a company by how thorough they inspect your home.
Next, make sure the inspector is dressed in a uniform and looks professional, ask the inspector how long they have been doing termite work. Termite work and inspections can be very tricky and the amount of experience the inspector has is critical. Over three years of experience means the individual has probably inspected hundreds of homes. Now that you know you have the right person and company pay very close attention to what they do at your home.
The inspector should have a bright flashlight. This is the most important tool he has and if he is not carrying a high quality flashlight he’s not doing his job correctly. The other tool he should have is a screwdriver or probe. This is used for sounding wood and picking at any damage to determine if it’s an active condition.
Last, take note as to where the inspector is looking for termites. They should start on the inside so as not to track dirt they may accumulate on their shoes when they inspect the exterior. Some pest control companies will check the attic. The chance of them finding termites that high up is unlikely but not out of the question. They should also be looking for other wood destroying insects like carpenter ants and powder post beetles which can be found in the attic. If your home has a basement it is critical to inspect the perimeter paying special attention to the area behind the outside porch. He should also inspect the perimeter of the garage. Once he finishes the inside the outside perimeter should be inspected especially door jambs, door thresholds, mulch, stacked firewood and decorative railroad ties. If there is a crawl space under the home it is vital the inspector takes a close look around the inside perimeter.
When finished, a good inspector will discuss his findings with you and make several recommendations as to how to decrease you chance of getting termites. If termites are found during the inspection a detailed report and a sketch of the home should be drawn up and presented to the homeowner accompanying a proposal. Never feel pressured, once you financially commit to a pest control company you can’t switch to a new one. A different company will not guarantee another’s work. They will want to retreat the property to offer any kind of guarantee.
Do You Have Termites?
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