In some areas of the country, particularly in the Southeast, older homes commonly have some history of termite damage. Before purchasing a home, it is important to be aware of past and present termite activity.
A licensed termite inspector can perform a new home termite inspection that will note damage by wood-destroying organisms, including termites, as well as signs of recent infestation. The report also will note conditions that are conducive to termite infestation. For example, the inspector will identify areas with moisture issues or wood-to-ground contact that offer easy access into your home.
Termite damage next to gutter:
Home damage caused by moisture from a gutter.
If the termite inspector finds signs of an active termite infestation, the home seller typically is responsible for termite treatment. The homebuyer usually is responsible for implementing the inspector’s suggestions for termite prevention and remedying conditions that are conducive to termite infestation.
What if Your New House Has Termites?
What happens if the house you want to purchase has termites? Typically, the home should be treated and have damage repaired before you purchase it. Make sure that the service guarantee is transferable from the buyer to you, and that it is transferred to you when you purchase the home. If you are not sure what retreat and repair claims are covered by the guarantee, contact the pest control company on the document.
In some cases, the sales transaction is completed prior to termite treatment and damage repair. In this event, both the buyer and seller should consult lawyers to make sure the sales contract clearly defines the responsibilities of each party.
What happens if termites are discovered after you purchase the home?
A wood-destroying organisms report (WDOR or WDIR) typically is valid for up to 90 days from the inspection. This report covers treatment, not repairs. If the termites are found more than 90 days after the inspection, you likely will be responsible for all treatment and repair costs.