Does this sound normal for a termite inspection?


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Old 07-08-13, 05:02 AM
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Does this sound normal for a termite inspection?

I'm in the process of selling my home and the potential new owner had both home & termite inspections done. The termite inspection was done by a local exterminating company which concluded that there is no current/active infestation, but there is existing old termite damage and evidence of previous treatment (drill holes). This company's inspection proposal is to open up walls in case there is further damage that can't be seen, as well as treat the house for termites.

I had a wood infestation inspection done through my home inspector 2 years ago when I bought the house and his conclusion was pretty much the same - evidence of previous infestation, damage, & treatment. There was no mention by him of opening up walls, though, and he also said that there was no cause for new treatment since there was no longer an infestation.

1. I always thought that pest control companies weren't allowed to comment on structural repairs being that they're not structural engineers. It also seems like a conflict of interest to have someone do the inspection as well as offer the proposal to remedy the issues. Are wood infestation inspections less formal/regulated than home inspections?

2. Is it common practice to do exploratory damage searches? It seems excessive to open up finished walls to check for possible damage when the visible damage is minor.

3. Is it necessary to spray for termites if you don't have termites? A good idea, maybe, but necessary?

I'm going to be meeting with the buyer's inspector to discuss his findings, but I just want to know what's expected before I do.
 
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Old 07-08-13, 05:28 AM
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If you havenít already, find the old paperwork from when you bought the house that documents the previous infestation/treatment. The lending agency may find that helpful as they are the ones that end up calling the shots in a real estate transaction.

Opening up the walls seems unnescessary to me when there is no compelling reason to do so. I suspect they are doing this so as to minimize any future liability on their part. In other words, they are already documenting this inspection which is a good idea on their part as the most litigious aspect of pest control is real-estate inspections.

Termite activity is moderate here in Pa. The further south you go, the more intense the activity gets which makes preventative treatment more compelling. I doubt that your house needs to be treated, but the lender/buyer/attorney/agents will have a lot to say about it unfortunately.

If the paperwork from current inspection does in fact state that no current infestation exists, and you have the paperwork from when you bought the house documenting the previous infestation/treatment, then use both as a bargaining chip. In other words, tell the buyer to pay for it as in your opinion based on previous and current documentation you are presenting a termite-free house. Their home inspector should have performed a structural inspection. If not, then a structural inspector may be needed yet. Keep us posted as this progresses.
 
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Old 07-11-13, 01:26 PM
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Thanks, bugman.

A quick update: I had two other termite inspections done today by two different pest control companies. Both agreed that opening the walls was not necessary and that the initial inspector was BSing in order to feed business to the "carpentry division" of his extermination business.
 
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Old 07-11-13, 02:40 PM
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Iím glad you figured that guy out; make sure that your real estate people know about this as they may not wish to use him again if he drums up business forhimself that otherwise isnít necessary.

thanks for keeping us posted.
 
 

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