If you are in the process of buying a house—congratulations! Whether this is your very first home or you are simply relocating, buying a home is an exciting process. What’s less exciting, however, is moving into your new home and discovering that it has structural damage caused by termites and or other wood destroying insects like carpenter ants. That’s why— before you close on your home, it’s important to have a home inspector perform a termite inspection so you avoid any unforeseen costs or damages.
How Termites Can Damage a Home
Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year, and are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring, and even wallpaper. While it would take a single termite roughly 3,100 years to eat the wood in a 1,000-square-foot home, termites never exist alone. In fact, termite colonies can range from a few thousand individuals to several million, depending on their species. Several colonies can also live together on one acre of land—meaning millions of termites could have access to your home at any time. Here are more things you should know about termites and termite inspections:
- The areas of a home that are most vulnerable to termite damage are slab foundations, areas where wood touches dirt, and inaccessible crawl spaces. Prospective homeowners should keep these things in mind when looking to buy a house, and insist on an inspection to determine whether there are any issues.
- A termite inspection is different from a standard home inspection in that the termite inspector assesses the condition of the physical structure of a home, from the roof to the foundation.
- Termite inspections, when performed by a professional, typically last about an hour. During the inspection, a termite specialist will inspect and probe the home from the attic to the basement for signs of termite damage.
- Evidence of termite damage can include buckling wood, swollen floors and ceilings, areas that appear to be affected by slight water damage, and visible mazes within walls or furniture. Termite infestations can also produce an odor similar to mildew or mold.
Getting a Termite Inspection Before Buying Your Home
The repairs from termite damage can cost thousands of dollars, depending on how much wood they have eaten, how long the colony has existed in the home, and where the damaged wood is located in the house. That’s why it’s so important to get a termite inspection before you finalize, close on the contract, and move into the home. In many places, a termite inspection is often required in order to complete a real estate transaction, and some mortgages, such as FHA and VA loans, could be conditional depending on the amount of repairs needed.
After completing the inspection, the specialist will issue a termite inspection report and detail any infestations found, along with a cost estimate to exterminate the termites.
Hiring a Termite Professional
Your termite inspection should be handled by a licensed, professional pest inspector. If you discover an active infestation, it’s important to remember that termite control is not something that any homeowner or prospective home buyer can deal with themselves. It’s best to contact a pest control company immediately upon discovering damage.
At Alexandria Pest Services, our team of expert technicians will work with you to create a plan to eliminate your pests. If you find that you are having a problem with insects, termites, or other pests and need an exterminator, call Alexandria Pest Services at 703-923-0925 to schedule a professional evaluation. We can help you get rid of these invaders in your home or office! Contact us today to learn more.