People often ask us how often they should do a inspection analysis when they are ready to buy or sell a home. However, we are asked even more how often they should get a home inspection for termites. The answer is simple: about once a year! But more on that later…
Termites eat all day long and all night long, every day and every night. That means that with so many hours of eating wood, their damage can be extensive and can occur over a relatively short time. Worse yet? The damage isn’t always obvious to the untrained eye until major damage has occurred!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that termite damage is in the billions of dollars every year across the U.S. And, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average termite damage costs approximately $2500 to $3000 to repair. The good news about termites and other wood-destroying pests is that they can be controlled and be identified with regular home inspections!
Can you do an inspection yourself?
The simple answer is: yes, you can do a termite inspection with no previous experience. In this case you should tools for home inspectors and see exactly what they use. However, (and that’s a big however) while any home owner can look for termites, it does not replace a professional inspection – ever. It is important to have a trained and experienced inspector make the final determination as to whether your home is suffering from a termite infestation and there is any damage. Termite damage can be obvious at times even to the untrained eye while at other times, it will take a trained eye to diagnose an infestation.
A quick tip if you’d like to look for yourself first:
— Termites are attracted to moist wood. Search any damp areas including around windows or other areas just after rainfall. If you even suspect termites or other wood-destroying pest, it’s important you contact a professional immediately.
— Look for “tunnels” the width of a pencil in wood, including at your foundation level. If you find a tunnel, you most likely have termites.
— Look for any kind of wood damage or “odd-looking” patches on the wood. Termites will begin eating wood from the inside and damage isn’t always visible on the outside of the wood. However, any type of wood darkening, blistering, or softening can be a sign. Crumbling wood is another obvious sign of termite presence.
How often should you have a termite inspection?
People often wait to conduct a termite inspection when they do a general home inspection either for maintenance purposes or because they plan to sell their home. However, waiting until then to have a termite inspection performed could prove extremely costly and it is not the best way to take care of your home. If left unchecked, you could find yourself with thousands of dollars in necessary renovations and remediation.
Termite inspections should be performed about once a year, especially if you live in a humid environment or there is the potential for any moisture incursion. An expert will inspect the interior and exterior of your home, basements, attics, and crawlspaces.
These inspections typically run about 30 to 45 minutes and a diagnosis can be given immediately, which can literally be a life-saver and allow you to avoid running into trouble when purchasing a home. A good inspector will review their findings with you at the end of their inspection and offer any recommendations if any damage is found. The inspector can also provide suggestions on how to prevent termites including regular treatments for your home or property.
Regular termite inspection services by a qualified inspector can help you maintain your structure’s integrity healthy and termite free. We have extensive experience across Suffolk and Nassau County, NY and would be happy to provide you with an initial estimate for a home inspection or a termite inspection.