In life, few things are more exciting and more important than purchasing a house. To ensure this process goes smoothly, certain steps must be taken into account. Apart from any aesthetic changes you may want to make to your new house, it’s also important to account for any problems that may not be visible to the ordinary naked eye. One such problem (and a very serious one for that matter) is a termite infestation. This is why a new home pest inspection is vital.
Termites, which are commonly referred to as “silent destroyers” for their ability to aggressively chew through wood undetected, cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year in the United States alone. This amount is more than all natural disasters combined. To make matters worse, homeowners’ insurance typically doesn’t cover this because termite damage is preventable through routine pest management. Therefore, before signing on that dotted line, prospective home buyers should always request a termite inspection, which is commonly known as a wood destroying organism (WDO) inspection, by a licensed pest control expert to avoid getting stuck with costly repairs later on after the sale is closed.
Whereas a standard home inspection assesses the physical structure of the house from the roof to the foundation, a termite new home inspection specifically focuses on detecting the signs of termite damage, as well as the conditions conducive to termite infestations, such as cracks, crevices and moisture. Once the termite inspection is completed, the pest control expert will then issue a new home pest control report and recommend a course of action.
Signs of a termite infestation on your new home
When looking at a new home with the intention to buy, pest experts recommend keeping an eye out for the following signs that could mean a termite infestation is hiding right in front of your eyes:
- Mud tubes on the exterior of the house
- Soft wood in the house that sounds hollow when tapped
- Blistering or darkening of wood structures
- Tiny piles of feces that look like sawdust near a termite nest
- Discarded translucent wings near doors or on windowsills are an indication that swarmers have entered the home.
While the signs mentioned above signal an active termite infestation, it’s important that prospective homebuyers are also aware of situations that could be attracting termites to the home in the first place. When touring a property, here are some extra things to look out for, and how to mitigate their effects should you move forward with purchasing the property:
Firewood – Many homeowners keep firewood stacked against their house to make them easily accessible. This, however, can actually attract termites towards the home. You should keep firewood at least 20 ft away from the house and at least 5 inches up from the ground.
Stumps – While it may seem harmless to leave a tree stump in your yard, rotting wood can serve as termite bait and eventually result in termites entering your home. You should always get rid of any excess wood from your property.
Mulch – Mulch is a food source for termites, therefore minimize the use of wood mulch and keep it at least 15 inches from the home’s foundation. Monitor the existing mulch for any signs of termite activity, with a keen eye on below the surface.
Due the incredibly destructive nature of termites, prospective property buyers should take the necessary steps to detect and prevent an infestation. It’s very important that you get a new home pest control inspection. Get in touch with us to assess and treat a termite infestation before it gets out of hand and causes you huge losses.