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Why a Timber Pest Inspection is essential.

Termite Damage to subfloor of house in Melbourne

A timber pest inspection is such an important thing to undertake before buying a property in Melbourne to help uncover possible serious termite issues. 

There are many reasons why pre-purchase timber pest inspections are incredibly helpful when purchasing a new home, one of them being to identify termite damage or the presence of these nasty little critters. 

Termites can cause serious damage to a home and unfortunately a lot of the time carry about their destructive ways practically undetected. Termites shouldn’t be ignored and you need to be aware of any termite damage before your purchase a home. 

Why Timber Pest Inspections are essential:

  • A termite problem isn’t always able to be identified unless you’re a trained professional.
  • Termite damage can be expensive to fix.
  • Termite damage can affect the structural integrity of a structure.
  • If identified early, termites are easier to manage than a major termite infestation.
  • By identifying conducive conditions that could lead to termite infestation, you can avoid the problem occurring by fixing these issues.

Signs of termites – Melbourne termite inspections

During a building and pest inspection an inspector will look for signs of termite damage. Termites tend to be attracted to dark, moist areas that contain wood. A reliable water source caused by failed waterproofing and leaks are ideal for termites. 

It’s important to engage a professional to check for termites as it’s not always possible to see the damage without an untrained eye. Termites don’t consume all of the wood in an area, instead only eating the cellulose within the wood. 

Some signs of termite damage include: 

  • Mud tubes: When they travel above the ground termites build mud tubes. These are often found on the slab edge entering a brick weep hole, on the stumps or on brick foundations. 
  • Damaged door frames, window frames, skirting boards, floors and ceilings: When inspecting for termite damage the inspector will tap on all the timbers with a golf ball on the end of a stick to find evidence of any infestation.  
  • Swarms of insects: If there is a termite nest nearby, there’s a big chance you’ll see a swarm of white winged insects flying around your home, usually near the windows. These termite alates can be attracted to lights. 
  • Sounds from inside the walls.
  • Termite wings found around the property. 

Termite inspections – what’s inspected?

At Building and Pest Inspection Melbourne our timber pest inspections are to Australian Standards 4349.3. Our inspectors check for visible signs of timber pests, including live termites and borers. Any signs of termites will be noted as well as any conditions that would make the property susceptible to termite damage. They will also note if the property has a termite management system installed. 

During a timber pest inspection our inspectors at Building and Pest Inspection Melbourne will check the interior, exterior, subfloor, roof voids and surrounding areas including retaining walls, fences, garden beds and other structures. 

What if termite damage is found – what then?

If our inspector finds visible termite damage, further investigation is needed which may require written authority from the seller as it’s more of an invasive inspection. As a buyer you may be able to terminate the contract of sale, or ask for a reduction in the selling price to cover the repair of the termite damage. 

Termite treatment

Building and Pest Inspection Melbourne also offers termite management services. If the home you’re intending to buy doesn’t have a termite management system, either chemicals or termite baits will be applied to the perimeter of the home. 

Chemical: 

A chemical termite barrier can be retrofitted by a combination of digging soil sections and/or drilling through concrete or tiled sections to reach the soil below. Because termites most commonly enter a house by crawling through the soil, chemical termite management is based on the application of thousands of litres of water mixed with just a few litres of chemicals to the soil surrounding your home’s foundations.

The chemicals are very low toxicity to humans and all mammals but very effective against termite infestations during the lifespan of the chemical if properly installed. Most termite chemicals last 5 to 8 years before replenishment is required.

Baiting system:

Termites can’t be controlled. Termites must be managed. The best way to prevent termites from infesting your house is to maintain a termite management system. A termite baiting system works on the basis of intercepting and poisoning termites that pose a risk to a house. Termite bait stations are placed in the ground approximately every 3 metres around the perimeter of the foundations.

Sentricon Always Active is a termite bait system that includes termite bait rods that lasts up to 5 years, but most termite bait systems rely on monitoring. Every 3 months, the Sentricon Always Active stations can be DIY monitored. If termites have eaten the bait rod inside the Sentricon Always Active stations, you can call us to order a replacement bait rod. The termite poison is highly effective at eliminating the entire termite colony.

Termite prevention

If you purchase a home that isn’t protected from termites, we would recommend installing a termite management system to AS3660 series in order to lower the chances of infestation in the future. There is no household insurance against termite damage and every year termites cause more damage to Australian homes than floods, storms and fire combined. Our termite management systems typically only cost between $1 to $2 per day. Ask us today about termite management for your most valuable asset.

Booking a pest inspection

You can book a Melbourne building and pest inspection online, get a fast quote or call us on 0408 666 539.

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