It Pays to Get Expert Advice
Identifying the presence of termites should be a top priority for home buyers. The enormous appetites of these tiny insects cause more than $5 billion annually in damage to property and can destroy the structural integrity of a house. Since the problem is often prevented with regular maintenance, homeowner insurance policies rarely cover the cost of treatments or repairs.
Whether the exterior of a house is made of wood, brick or concrete, the wooden framing and flooring are still susceptible. Even new homes can have problems if modern pre-treatments are not used, such as building the foundation with termite-resistant wood, adding barriers under the foundation or treating the soil prior to pouring slabs.
While a general home inspection might identify a termite problem, few reports are likely to tell buyers if the issue is old or new or the solution requires a simple treatment plan or a substantial repair. A pest control expert can provide these answers as well as determine whether the problem is actually being caused by termites or other wood-destroying insects, such as carpenter ants. The extensive report will also identify potential areas that could encourage future infestations, such as wood-to-ground contact, fallen trees near the house and access points in the foundation.
Sellers are required to disclose a known issue, and most termite warranties transfer with the house to the next owner. However, many people may not realize a problem exists since infestations are not usually apparent until well-developed colonies are living in the walls. Paying for expert advice is the responsibility of the buyer, but getting this information up front can prevent a costly decision.
Negotiating Termite Repairs
Even if a lender does not require a termite inspection, a buyer should definitely contact a pest control expert if they notice:
- Dampness in the basement or moisture in the walls.
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Cracked or bubbling paint.
- Swollen floors or buckling ceilings.
- The scent of mildew or deposits of mold.
- A pile of discarded wings.
A current or past termite problem doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the home. A professional termite inspector will help you determine the extent of the damage and provide a written guarantee.
Since purchase agreements are typically contingent on the results of inspections, buyers can initiate an addendum asking the seller to pay for a licensed pest control company to fix the problem. Alternatively, the buyer can negotiate a price reduction based on an expert estimate and then address the issue after the sell.
With a termite inspection, Burns Pest Elimination can ensure the strength and safety of your new home in Phoenix or Tucson. Contact us for an estimate on treatment or repairs for certified work prior to settlement.