A. A termite inspection, also called a pest inspection, is a visual inspection of a building by a state licensed professional. The inspection will comprise of a search for evidence of termite infestation and damage to the structure caused by any such termite activity. The inspection will also look for conditions that are conducive to infestations developing such as standing water, plumbing leaks and wood to earth contact. All accessible areas of the house, including crawlspaces and the exterior will be covered by the inspection. If there is no crawlspace, the attic will be inspected. An average inspection will take about 60 minutes and the findings are recorded in a report.
Q. Is It a Legal Requirement in California?
A. California state law does not mandate that an inspection be done prior to the sale of property. However, in many cases, mortgage bankers do require that the inspection be done so as to protect their investment. It should be noted that the inspector is not responsible for any infestation or signs of one that may appear after the inspection date. For this reason it is a good idea to have the inspection done as close as possible to the close of escrow. Some buyers include a termite contingency in the purchase terms which will enable them to withdraw from the transaction if termite damage should be found.
Q. How do I find the Right Pest Control Company?
A.The pest control industry in California is highly regulated. Look for a company that is licensed by the Structural Pest Control Board to do inspections. Contact a few companies and check out their qualifications, experience and the technology that they use to control any termite infestations that may be found. Also ask for references and contact others who have used these service to see what their experience has been.
Q. What should be included in the Report?
A. California law demands that the report includes information on any wood destroying insects that may be found along with the presence of fungus, Details of structural damage, if any, present on the date of the inspection,should be noted. Conditions that are conducive to infestations developing such as stagnant water, faulty grade levels etc. should also be noted. A diagram that shows the parts of the house that have been inspected and also where infestations have been found must form part of the report. Areas not inspected because of inaccessibility, must be mentioned. Recommendations for treatments of infestations and repairs to be done, should also be given in the report.
Q. Who can see the Report?
A. When a termite extermination company is hired to do an inspection, it is accountable to both the seller and the buyer, irrespective of who has paid for the inspection. The person ordering the inspection must receive a copy of the report within 10 days of the inspection, being done. A copy of the report should then handed over to the buyer or seller, as the case may be. The escrow company will normally ask for a copy of the report.
More FAQs will be covered in the next blog.