When you’re looking to buy a home, it is natural to focus first on the home’s outward appearance. Is the paint peeling? Do the faucets need replacing? Does the carpet need updating? These are all important questions that directly impact the financial value and comfort of a home. Just as important to a home’s value, however, are the elements that you can’t see with the naked eye. The roofing, the interior walls, and the flooring all help make or break a home, but you often can’t identify problems with the home’s foundation with a standard home inspection. One serious problem that many homeowners miss is the presence of termites lurking within the foundation, slowly destroying the home from within. Fortunately, as noted by websites such as planetorange.com, with proper pest control, you can stop termites in their tracks before they do extensive damage to your house. How do you do this? A wood-boring pest inspection is your best bet.
The Power of the Termite
Termites are tiny but powerful creatures. They have an amazing ability to chew through the wood of a house for a long period, sometimes up to eight years, before the homeowner even notices signs of damage. Holes in wood framing, sagging floors, and even damaged wallpaper—these can all be signs that termites have long since invaded your house’s foundation. Termites are a serious threat, not just to homes, but also to the wallets of property owners. Estimates indicate that termites cause over $5 billion in property damage annually. Even worse, pest control damage is normally not covered by homeowners’ insurance. If you’re not looking, these pests can seriously impair the quality of your life and your financial bottom line.
Fortunately, experts know what to look for, and through a careful inspection, can identify the presence of termites, allowing homeowners to begin the eradication process. The first step for any aspiring property owner is to contact a licensed pest professional to conduct a termite-specific home inspection. A standard home inspection is likely to miss the presence of termites given their effectiveness as “silent destroyers.” A wood-boring pest inspection typically lasts for an hour and involves a licensed termite specialist thoroughly inspecting the home from attic to basement, including hard-to-reach areas such as crawl spaces. After this inspection, the specialist will issue a report, and in the event that termites have been located, estimate the cost of addressing an infestation.
After purchasing a home, you should consider scheduling an inspection every three to five years at minimum, which meets the guidelines issued by the American Society of Home Inspectors. Between inspections, it is best to take a proactive approach against termites. Among the steps you can take to reduce the chances of an infestation include keeping all areas of your home, including basements and attics, dry and well ventilated. Repairing faulty faucets and water pipes will go a long way towards keeping termites away. Another recommended step is to avoid providing safe spaces for termites to reproduce, for example, keeping firewood a safe distance (about 20 feet) from your home. Finally, keep a lookout in between inspections for signs of termites, including cracked paint and hollow wood.
Your home is a precious investment, one that you maintain and grow through careful maintenance and prevention efforts. Avoid letting termites reduce the value of this investment by gaining as much knowledge as possible of the value of termite inspections.