Louisville Termite Inspection
Why do you need a termite inspection?
You know I tell folks all the time, there are two types of homes out there, there are homes that have termites, and those are about to. That’s just so true. We are a dominant area, US period, but there are places that are worse than others and we happen to be in an area where termites thrive. It’s very, very important to do that. Why do you need one? You can do a little research online, the damage done, and the money spent in the US every year due to termite damage is nothing short of phenomenal. These guys, these termites, are mean little critters.
Another question you might ask about this to answer why, why do they eat our homes? We’ve got all this lumber, trees, dead trees in the forest, and all this stuff laying in the backyard that they could be eating on, why are they eating on my home? That’s a great question and another reason why you need the inspection. We build our homes right where they thrive. We get our footer down to that 18-inch mark, in our area it’s 18 inches below the freeze line, so termites they’ve got to keep a certain temperature, humidity, moisture going on. And it’s right there, that’s their sweet spot. We pour foundation down that deep and just build them a little path right up to the sill plate.
In a nutshell, that’s why we’re so susceptible to them. Everyone should do that, do the treatment whether they’ve got evidence of termites or not. That is so smart, especially in our area, it’s preventative. Most builders in our area pre-treat the soil before they build.
That’s why you need it, it’s just an incredible cost to incur in the future. You can have significant damage done to your home and not know. Typically, they’re going to come up through the footer; then they’re going to get into your crawlspace, sill plate, band boards, back in behind the walls. Places that you’re not going to know after getting there. Till you notice, “Hey, where’s all this sawdust coming from?” And you’ve got severe damage. So I highly recommend, always. Most lenders in a real estate transaction, they do not lend money on a home without first having a termite inspection done.
How does a termite inspection work?
The termite inspection is another license that’s required in both Kentucky and Indiana, and in most states. It is regulated by Purdue University here, which is the Indiana State Chemists, because of the chemicals that have to be used to treat for termites. So the inspection itself, we keep that very affordable because we’re doing it anyway.
The inspection consists of going around that home and looking for signs of termites, or conditions that are conducive to termites drive. Tell-tale signs for termites, we have what we call frass, which is body parts and debris that they would drop. What we call mud tubes, those are where termites travel in. They build these sandy-looking little tunnels right up your walls. So we’re looking for those mud tubes, and any kind of debris, frass again. Sometimes in the spring termites will go into flight, and so they spread wings and they take off. So we’re looking for that specific type of tube that they fly out of because that’s different than what they travel in.
We’ll also be looking for tell-tale signs; like wings left in the window sills. Any kind of place where, especially where wood would meet the ground, or be close to the ground, that’s a big welcome mat for termites. Things like having firewood stacked against your house, you could be carrying termites right into your house. Our termite inspections are pretty extensive. It’s kind of what we do for home inspection, not only looking for termite evidence, but also looking for any signs of previous treatment.
Is there such a thing as a free termite inspection?
I’m sure there are. Some inspection companies will even promote that as part of their package deal or whatever. Look, this is America and you get what you pay for. Folks that give things away free like that, either one, they have an ulterior motive. Maybe they treat for termites, so it’s real conducive for them to do the termite inspection. Or maybe they’re not very good at it, and so we don’t charge for it. You have to be a licensed professional which comes with costs. Who is going to crawl through a nasty, wet, damp, spider-web covered, crawlspace looking for termites and not expect to be compensated for it?
Should I get a termite inspection with my home inspection?
Absolutely, you should always get the termite inspection with the home inspection. Exceptions are; One, you’ve had a termite inspection by a licensed firm within the last 90 days, because they’re only good for 90 day. Termites are alive and they can not be here today and suddenly be here tomorrow. So mortgage lenders have determined that 90 days is the extent that a report is good for. Two, would be if you’re doing a VA load, and the military is involved. It is the seller’s responsibility to pay for and produce that termite letter or report. You should always do it during the home inspection if you don’t have one or the other there. It’s in your favor because it’s another cost, another huge hidden surprise that could be waiting for you if you don’t take advantage of that.
How much does a termite inspection cost?
Termite inspections, again, like everything else are kind of all over the board. You really need to do a little research depending on your situation. If a licensed home inspector does it, like us, we charge a mere 25 bucks. If I come out to do a termite stand-alone it’s 75 bucks. I’ve heard as much as 125 bucks in our area from some of the major franchises. Again, just be careful that there’s no conflict of interest. We don’t fix, we don’t repair, we don’t correct anything. We have no ulterior motive to tell you if there’s something wrong or that there’s an issue when there really isn’t.
Will I get a report after my termite inspection, and how long will it take for me to get it?
That’s another good question. We strive to deliver all of our reports at the same time. Setting the radon requires two days earlier prior to the home inspection. We do the home inspection and the termite inspection at that same time. We deliver all of those reports together, the same day as the inspection. Except for late inspections that starts at 4:30 or later. It becomes cumbersome, report writing, a lot of people think, “Oh, he was only here at the home inspection, you know, a couple of hours.” Not realizing he has another hour and a half of report writing to do to get things right. So the exception would be that you would get it the following day. Always within 24 hours.