Purchasing a home? Homeowners and purchasers alike should take care to ensure that before buying a home it is prudent to get it thoroughly inspected for termites and follow up with regular inspections. If there are concerns or the pre-purchase pest report indicates that the house is in a high risk area or has signs of termite damage then a more invasive inspection inside the walls may be neccessary.
In last night’s Today Tonight Show on the 7 News, Dean and Sharon Yarnton thought they’d done everything right. “We had no idea at all,” said Sharon Yarnton, who purchased the house in Sydney’s west in 2008 with her husband Dean. The Yarntons now face a repair bill over $100,000.
You can prevent this type of horror story from happening and it’s not always the pest inspection company that’s at fault. Termites are a significant problem in Sydney and they can enter a building undetected. The type of building construction can impact not only on its susceptibility to subterranean termites but its susceptibility to concealed entry, this is particularly true for timber-framed structures that have been built on a concrete floor construction, such as brick veneer and weatherboard homes. Even if the roof cavity and the subfloor are accessible at the time of the inspection, many timbers can’t be reached and or are concealed by carpets, furniture insulation, sarking and ducting.
The most common type of inspection for subterranean termites is a visual examination of timbers and other building components for termite activity such as deflection, bowing or damage. In some cases, it is necessary to carry out a more invasive inspection by removing sections of a building. Other devices can also be employed to carry out an inspection such as thermal imaging equipment. These are highly sensitive cameras that can detect differences in temperature. When used by competent and experienced termite specialists, this equipment can often pinpoint areas of termite activity behind would otherwise be invisible without removal of the wall.
Keep in mind pre-purchase visual inspections and reports only reflect the condition of the property at the time of the inspection and are limited to those areas and sections of the property fully accessible and visible to the inspector on the day of the inspection. Termites can gain entry into a property in a relatively short period of time, and can cause significant damage to both structural and non-structural timbers. Termites can be difficult to detect and an inspection is not a guarantee that termites and/or damage do not exist in any inaccessible or partly inaccessible areas or sections of the property.
To avoid any horrors ensure that you use a competent professional company that has professional indemnity insurance. Remember stopping termites before they can become established in your home is the best way to protect yourself. Even if you have no sign of termites, it’s a good idea to have a protective barrier in place.