Buying a new home is an exciting experience. You may spend time admiring the new floor plan, planning kids' rooms or exploring your neighbourhood. However, you shouldn't forget to arrange for a proper termite inspection.
If you live in wet and humid areas, the home may be particularly susceptible to termite attacks. These tiny creatures chew through wood, paper, floors and any other material that contains cellulose. And while the home you intend to purchase may appear clean and stylish, it may be undergoing attack from termite colonies. This is why checking for these insects is critical.
Before closing on the home and officially receiving your keys, make sure you check for termites in the following ways.
Check for leaks
Termites love two things the most: moisture and cellulose. Cellulose provides the energy they need and building blocks to develop mud tubes. Moisture is then used to seal these mud tubes and keep the termites healthy and active. Therefore, leaking faucets, ductwork and pipes provide the perfect conditions for termites. This is why you should check for any leaks in and around the home.
While a seller may try to downplay a broken pipe as an easy fix, leaking pipes near wooden areas may attract termites. Have all leaking issues addressed and make sure the home is as dry as possible before you complete the purchase.
Keep an eye out for loose wood
Wood kept on the ground in and around the home can attract termites, especially if the insects have infested the area recently. Simple practices such as keeping firewood on the ground and exposing the wooden foundations of a shed can result in termite infestations.
Take some time to walk around the home and check how much bare wood is present. Some areas may need to be reinforced or insulated against termites. Ideally, bare wood should be stored about 15 cm from the ground and a few metres from your home.
Ask the seller about any history of termite infestations
Your seller should also disclose whether the property has had prior incidences of termite infestations. If so, how much damage was experienced, and what steps did the seller take to mitigate such damage? When was the last time an inspection and treatment was carried out? This information will help you determine whether the home is a good investment.
Schedule a professional termite inspection
Finally, don't forget to have a professional inspection done by a termite control service of your choosing. Find a company you trust and give them enough time to check the foundation, walls, floors, basement and other potential termite hot spots.