A majority of the time when we conduct an inspection, it is a building and a pest inspection.
Considering all our inspectors have qualifications and experience in both building inspections and pest inspections, it is a no brainer.
There is no organising for two separate inspectors to come out, you don't have to arrange for the real estate agent to be present twice; and above all you do not have to pay multiple call out fees.
Every now and then however, we run into some peculiar responses from people when we recommend that they even have a pest inspection.
We have noticed three pervasive myths about pest inspections, that stand in the way of people making absolute sure that their potential new home is safe both structurally and financially.
MYTH ONE: "I Don't Need a Pest Inspection Because My Home is Steel Frame"
Granted, the structural risks presented in this situation are lower. The framework of the hoem itself will not be damaged by a termite infestation.
However, there is a lot more damage that can be done to a property than simply havign the framework eaten by these pests.
Termites will also eat:
- The paper on the back side of gyprock
- Any wooden skirting boards, finishes or door frames
- Any cabinetry, such as bathroom cupboards, wardrobes and the kitchen
As you can see there is still plenty of damage that a termite infestation can cause to a home, even if the framework has been protected.
MYTH Two: i don't need a pest inspection because there is an existing barrier in place
This myth is potentially perpetuated from people selling houses and using the existing of a termite barrier as a selling point or feature of the home.
Whilst a barrier is one of the best ways of remaining termite free, the protection of the home is only as good as the barrier that is in place.
Barriers need consistent checking, maintenance and upkeep in order to be able to perform properly.
In fact, one of the main things that we check when we are conducting a pest inspection is the barrier system that is in place. Not only that, a termite barrier should be checked every 12 months!
A large majority of homes were built with barriers, or had barriers added at a later stage; this is not to say that all of these barriers are still operating as they should to this day and age.
The barrier is only as good as its weakest point! For example, if it has been bridged somewhere, allowing access to termites, then the whole barrier may as well not be installed.
There are two types of termite barriers that could potentially be installed on the property, and each has its own limitations and requirements for regular maintenance and checking.
A chemical barrier lasts anywhere between 5 and 10 years, as eventually the chemicals used to treat the ground around the building will degrade and cease providing the same level of defence.
A pest inspection includes checking whether the chemical barrier is still active and protecting the property.
A physical barrier is typically metal being placed between the property and the surrounding soil, often this comes in the form of mesh.
The physical barrier also needs to be checked regularly to ensure that there are no breaches.
Myth three: I don't need a pest inspection because my home is double brick
This third myth comes from much the same place as the myth relating to a steel frame. The fact that a building is double brick may indeed mean that there are less structural points of vulnerability, but once again does not mean that termites do not stand to create havoc.
The double brick house actually has more potential for termite damage than the steel frame home. This is because the double brick house is far more likely to have wooden roof framing and trusses, on top of all the same fixtures at risk that the steel frame home has!
When you are looking to purchase a new home, or a new investment property, you may be extremely tempted to try and take some short cuts on inspections. This is only natural, as the entire process can become quite expensive.
However, when you skip the relatively small costs of having the appropriate inspections completed, you are risking some much larger costs down the track for maintenance or repairs!