Regular termite inspections should be a routine part of home maintenance. Termites can cause extensive damage before homeowners are aware of an infestation. Since termites can be active with little signs of an infestation, hire a trained professional to perform regular inspections to help identify infestations early and prevent or minimize damage.
Not only are termite inspections important to home maintenance, they also are a critical step in the home buying process. Many lenders and some states require certified termite inspections before residential sales transactions can be completed. Even when inspections are not required, homebuyers should request a termite inspection in addition to the standard home inspection to help properly assess the value of a home.
How to Do a Termite Inspection
Some homeowners may notice visible signs of termite activity, such as a termite swarm or wood damage. Unfortunately, these signs can indicate a well-established colony.
During an inspection, a termite specialist will focus on common termite entry points and areas prone to infestation. A licensed termite inspector is trained to identify visible signs of activity, plus signs that are not as visible, such as mud tubes, termite exit holes and termite droppings.
Professional termite inspectors understand how different types of termites are likely to gain access to a home, so they know where to look for signs of termites. For example, subterranean termites are likely found near your home's foundation, while drywood termites can infest your home in any area that is accessible through exposed, untreated wood.
Termite Inspection Expectations
A termite inspection report is a detailed statement that notes the presence or absence of signs of termite activity in all areas that are visible to the inspector. The report should indicate any areas that are not visible, such as crawlspaces or attic vents, which would require structural changes to access.
The termite inspection report also should include information about conditions that are potentially conducive to termite infestation - including moisture sources and wood-to-ground contact - and suggestions for remedying these issues.