Should I get my own timber pest inspection report?

When purchasing a home, a building and timber pest inspection are required to find out if there are any problems with the structure or if there are any timber pests.  

Who should organise this? 

Inspections can be organised by a number of parties, but some present a conflict of interest.

i) The Vendor - The vendor is ideally looking for a report that says the home has a "clean bill of health"; as such, if they engage a pest and/or building inspector, there is a possibility that the inspector is put under duress to present the report in the most favourable possible light. 

ii) The real estate agent -  is looking primarily after the interests of a vendor. By definition, the real estate agent has the primary role of selling the property. If they engage an inspector, they could possibly try to engage one that will be more "easy going", less fastidious in finding potential problems with the property. 

iii) The purchases conveyancer - If you're buying, then your conveyancer may organise the Inspection as a matter of due diligence. This wholesale outsourcing of inspections can present a problem if the inspector is possibly asked to provide cut price inspections or is too busy to perform thorough inspections. Although acting in your behalf, it's just a matter of a few minutes whilst your discussing the purchase with your conveyancer to find out who they use and check a few reviews. 👌🏻

iv) The purchaser - this is the most ideal candidate for organising a timber pest and building inspection, but there are potential pitfalls. Often, the purchaser can be financially stretched to the limit, especially with real estate prices rocketing. The temptation can be to find the "best deal", not all timber pest inspectors are created equal. The cheaper the price, the quicker the report, the quicker the report, the greater the possibility something will be missed. You're better off spending a bit more and getting a quality, detailed report rather than a cheap one.  

Will your Inspection include photos and inform you of potential problems? The best way to know may be to organise it yourself.

Will your Inspection include photos and inform you of potential problems? The best way to know may be to organise it yourself.

 

There are potential problems in each of these scenarios, and not all inspectors are created equal, a conflict of interest can arise in each case.

Ideally, its best to look into each scenario and make an informed decision that you're comfortable with. In theory, there isn't a problem with each of these options, in practice, our experience has been otherwise. 

Either way, do your homework, use reputable, licenced and insured inspectors and your possibility of surprises will be reduced.  

 

The Area around the property should also be checked to reveal potential threats.

The Area around the property should also be checked to reveal potential threats.

The random things you find during an inspection.

We often find random issues with homes during a termites inspection, here are a few examples of non termite issues we were able to let homeowners know about.

This electrical plug was resting on a downlight globe and was burnt severely. We moved it off the light and informed the owner.

This electrical plug was resting on a downlight globe and was burnt severely. We moved it off the light and informed the owner.

This electrical junction box had a water leak above it.

This electrical junction box had a water leak above it.

 


Plumbing draining into the subfloor. This is surprisingly common and can be a real issue, not only for termites but also can increase structural issues.

Plumbing draining into the subfloor. This is surprisingly common and can be a real issue, not only for termites but also can increase structural issues.

These communication wiring certainly needed some TLC!

These communication wiring certainly needed some TLC!

This air conditioning drain was dripping into the roof void, the homeowner was glad we let them know!

This air conditioning drain was dripping into the roof void, the homeowner was glad we let them know!

It's surprising how often we find plumbing that just drains straight into the subfloor!

It's surprising how often we find plumbing that just drains straight into the subfloor!

Signs of Termites in walls

How do you know if you have termites in your wall? 

There are tell tale signs that are specific to termites.

Cracking in walls can be a sign that something sinister is happening behind the wall. The mud spots confirm that it's termites.

Cracking in walls can be a sign that something sinister is happening behind the wall. The mud spots confirm that it's termites.

Termites will always seal any opening with their mud, here you can see tightly packed mud filling in the gaps.

Termites will always seal any opening with their mud, here you can see tightly packed mud filling in the gaps.

Subtle changes in timber cover strips can be a dead giveaway. Here the vertical timber strip and the one to the left has been eaten out, the strip on the right remains intact.

Subtle changes in timber cover strips can be a dead giveaway. Here the vertical timber strip and the one to the left has been eaten out, the strip on the right remains intact.

Inside this built in wardrobe you can see evidence of termite workings. There is a tiny bit of mud right in the middle of the corner at the top and spots of mud/mould is visible on the Left Hand side. This is a clear indication of termite activity behind the walls.

Inside this built in wardrobe you can see evidence of termite workings. There is a tiny bit of mud right in the middle of the corner at the top and spots of mud/mould is visible on the Left Hand side. This is a clear indication of termite activity behind the walls.

Identifying Termite and Wasp mudding.

You're walking around your house and you see some new mud on the wall, how can you tell if this mud is from Termites or just some annoying wasps building their nursery on your wall?

How do you tell the difference between Termite mudding and a wasp nest?

Read More

"Inadequate" Ant Capping

Ant capping is barrier that prevents termites from being able to get into a building undetected, this is generally made of a strip of galvanised metal shielding. It's very purpose is not to stop termites completely, but to give them some sort of obstruction so that they have to build a mud shelter tube to go around. 

These can often be overlooked and forgotten about when renovations take place, repairs or changes are made to the existing building and sometimes can just rot away without anyone noticing.

The ant capping metal shield with it's inspection edge being completely covered by a cover strip.

The ant capping metal shield with it's inspection edge being completely covered by a cover strip.

This ant cap was not joined properly during construction, and to add to the potential problems, is clearly rusting away.

This ant cap was not joined properly during construction, and to add to the potential problems, is clearly rusting away.

An addition to this property has resulted in the ant capping being compromised, you can clearly see that the ant cap does not completely cover the new vertical cover strip, causing an easy passage for termites to get in undetected.

An addition to this property has resulted in the ant capping being compromised, you can clearly see that the ant cap does not completely cover the new vertical cover strip, causing an easy passage for termites to get in undetected.

Vertical Transitions such as this one, are a commonplace entry point for termites.

Vertical Transitions such as this one, are a commonplace entry point for termites.

This photo clearly demonstrates a vertical transition where the ant capping is not joined, for the ant capping to be effective both the lower and upper sections of ant capping need to be joined in the middle to form a continuous barrier. In this particular case, it was virtually impossible to visually inspect between the two levels as there was poor access. That's why it's important to get it right during the construction phase.

This photo clearly demonstrates a vertical transition where the ant capping is not joined, for the ant capping to be effective both the lower and upper sections of ant capping need to be joined in the middle to form a continuous barrier. In this particular case, it was virtually impossible to visually inspect between the two levels as there was poor access. That's why it's important to get it right during the construction phase.