If you want to buy a home in Maryland, you will soon become familiar with termite inspections. Because homes are such major investments, and because termite infestations may not be obvious, mortgage lenders require termite inspections before approving financing. Whatever the age of the property you are considering buying, you will have to have a termite inspection. It may seem excessive in a new property, but even new houses can suffer termite infestation – sometimes within days after completion. A professional home inspector who is certified to perform termite inspections gives you the information you need when you’re determining whether to make an offer.
Termites can be found throughout the United States, including in cold climates like Alaska’s. Cold weather may slow termites down, but it doesn’t guarantee absence of termites. Loans administered through the FHA or VA must be accompanied by an official inspection report on wood destroying insects. Inspections may not be required on conventional loans unless there is wood to earth contact. Termites and other insects that destroy wood can cause thousands of dollars of damage to a property, and lenders want to be confident that the property is in good enough condition to finance.
A certified termite inspector will perform a visual inspection for termites and other structural pests. The inspector examines accessible areas of the property searching for evidence of any wood-destroying insects, including ants, carpenter bees, or other bugs. State and local laws govern exactly what the scope of the inspection encompasses. The interior of the home, basements, and crawl spaces are all inspected, and in some areas the attic will be inspected for drywood termites. Dark recesses on the property will be examined thoroughly because termites tend to prefer to be out of the spotlight, so to speak.
The person selling the home can make termite inspection a little easier by clearing spaces under bathroom and kitchen sinks, creating space between garage walls and stored items, and making sure attics and crawl spaces are accessible. Around the exterior of the home, the seller can make sure wood is stored away from the walls and foundation of the home and should remove soil that rises to a height greater than where siding begins. Dead plants and debris should also be removed.
If an infestation is found, the property will have to be treated and damage assessed. Depending on whether the structure is damaged, repairs may be required. Generally the seller pays to eradicate the infestation and take care of any repairs necessary because of the termites. The possibility of a termite infestation is a good reason for home sellers to invest in their own independent property inspection before putting their home on the market. That way they have time to deal with problems before the house is shown to potential buyers. At MD Mold Testing, we perform home inspections and are licensed to inspect for wood-boring pests like termites, and are also licensed to perform environmental tests for mold, asbestos, lead, and water quality.