Practice Proper Pest Prevention Before Finalizing the Deal
So, you are all set to buy your new home. The house is perfect, the price is better than you imagined, and the neighbors are a decent crowd. What more could you ask for? After all the larger boxes have been ticked, it will be time to take a closer look at the details that will make this home a haven or a hell.
Termites and carpenter ants are serious issues that can place your home’s equity on a downward spiral. This is why a Professional Pest Inspection is essential to the house buying process.
4 Benefits of Conducting a Pest Inspection
1. Helps you know the pest problems beforehand
If you can identify the pest problem before purchasing the home, you will know what kind of work the house requires before it is fit for human habitation. In addition, a professional inspection will provide insights into the extent of the problem. You will also get a professional opinion on whether or not the pests can be eradicated and how much this will cost.
2. You can avoid future regret
Imagine signing the check and placing thousands of dollars down on the house only to realize the woodwork is termite ridden, and the whole building is set to collapse in a few months. The consequences can be detrimental to your family and financial plan. A pre-purchase pest inspection allows you confidence in purchasing a home. You will not meet any unexpected squatter that must be evicted at a high cost.
3. Gives you an upper hand in negotiations
Pre-pest control also gives you a clear idea of the true value of the home you are interested in. For example, if you are being sold a termite-infested home, this factor should be reflected in a reduced asking price. The Pre-pest control service can let you know if the price you are given represents the true value of your home.
If you do find pests, you will have a hefty bargaining chip to throw weight on your side of the negotiations. The price could be reduced to cover the need for pest control, or the seller may be willing to offer other concessions to offset the costs of pest infestation. Better still, you can request that the seller handle the pest control before the home purchase, this way you can rest assured that the property you receive is pest-free upon your arrival.
Professional pest inspection gives you negotiating power to achieve a fair price for the house.
4. Helps in uncovering hidden issues
You can expect a pest inspection professional to provide a thorough report of all their findings. Many home details will not be immediately visible in the preliminary home inspections. A pest professional can reveal other issues. For example, there was an insect infestation in the past, and the damage has not been fully remedied.
Common Symptoms of Household Pest Infestation
Termites — called the “silent destroyers”, a well-established termite colony can chew through your home’s equity faster than a kid consumes a Mars Bar. Each year, termites eat more than $ 5 billion of property damage, and this equity is rarely recovered.
Before you sign your name on the dotted line, home buyers should request a thorough termite inspection performed by a licensed pest control and extermination professional.
Standard home inspections will ascertain the home’s structural integrity, roof conditions, foundational stability, etc. For example, a termite inspection will focus on the telltale signs that termites are or have been at work through the home’s woodwork. After the inspection, the pest control professional will provide a report of their findings along with a recommended course of action.
Here are some of the most important signs of termite damage to look for when touring a new home you may be interested in buying.
- Mud tubes on the exterior of the home
- Darkening and/or blistering of wood
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
- Small piles of termite feces
- Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills
These signs will indicate an active termite presence. But homeowners should also be aware of certain situations that can make a home more susceptible to a termite infestation. Here are a few additional things to keep in mind and how you can mitigate the effects of infestation before you purchase a home.
Firewood — a stack of firewood laid against the side of the home is almost irresistible to termites and provides them easy access to the home.
Tip: Firewood should be stored at least 20 feet from home itself and raised on platforms about 5″ high.
Gutters — termites require food and water to live. Clogged gutters and pooling water can provide the termite colony with the moisture needed to thrive.
Tip: Ensure gutters and downspouts are regularly cleaned and maintained and keep water from pooling around the home.
Stumps — it may seem like the easiest thing to keep a stump in your garden, but that slab of rotting wood can serve as a smorgasbord for an entire colony of voracious termites. Eventually, they will relocate to the home.
Tip: Have stumps and dead trees removed quickly by a professional tree removal service.
Mulch — this is frequently used around the home for landscaping and gardening. But mulch is a tasty treat for termites providing both moisture and food.
- Avoid using mulch around the home itself.
- Keep the mulch at least 15″ from the outside of the home.
- Keep a close eye on your mulching to catch any signs of termite activity before they can establish themselves in your home.
Branches — tree branches that hang onto the roof can provide termites with access to your home as well.
Tip: Keep all tree limbs and branches trimmed back a safe distance to keep termites from accessing the wooden structures of the roof.