A lot has been said about termite inspections and termite control methods in recent media and it is important to understand what is involved in having a termite inspection, its benefits and its limitations. Major stories have been run in the media in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide regarding inadequate inspections for termites and other timber pests. This is particularly the case when a pre-purchase inspection (or PPI) is involved.
What is the difference between a termite inspection and a timber pest inspection?
For everyone, termites are the big focus, but termites are only 1 of the timber pests that cause damage to your property. The main timber pests that can damage a property are termites, borers and wood decay fungi.
A timber pest inspection is normally designed to look for signs of all three of these pests. A termite inspection normally only focuses on subterranean termites.
Why do you need a termite inspection or a timber pest inspection?
Its always important to first assess the current condition of your property:
- Are there any obvious signs of termite infestations?
- Are there parts of the property construction that could encourage future attack?
- Are there any environmental conditions on the property could encourage future attack?
A full timber pest inspection and a timber pest report is the starting point do decide what is required for effective termite control, wood decay management and borer control.
Are you Purchasing a new property?
If you are going to purchase a property it is vital that you get a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) done. But make sure that you choose a company that:
- Has fully qualified timber pest technicians (in some States you require an additional licence to do this work)
- Is Fully Insured (Professional Indemnity Insurance)
Limitations of inspections
All termite inspections and other timber pest inspections have limitations. Termites and borers do their very best to work and breed undetected. Inspections conducted are termed "non-destructive" which means we do not damage the property while performing the inspection.
An inspection will not see through walls - even with thermal imaging cameras. Recommendations and report findings are based on visual evidence found on the DAY of the inspection.
If you own the property and a serious concern is raised, a more invasive inspection can be performed using bore scopes and other devices which will gain access to concealed voids - but invasive inspections are rarely performed in the case of a sale of a property since the vendor does not want their property damaged unnecessarily.