Most of us will purchase our home upon the condition of a satisfactory property inspection report. Engaging a qualified professional to inspect what will probably be the biggest purchase we will ever make in our lives is strongly advisable. However, while the focus tends to be on the building inspection component, often another key inspection tends to be downplayed or even overlooked. Certainly, it is important to determine the safety, and the structural/non-structural state of the building for defects and conditions which may lead to future defects and very expensive problems if left unattended. But a pre-purchase inspection without a timber pest inspection is simply incomplete.
Why is a Pest Inspection Important?
Their difficulty of detection because of their secretive nature, combined with the extent of the damage they can inflict upon our homes in such a brief period of time, has meant that subterranean termites have dominated public attention and rightfully so. Yet, they are not the only form of timber pest. Various timber boring beetles will inflict significant damage to timber in service. Fungal decay will weaken timber structural/non-structural components of a home resulting in possible failure.. and is itself an attractant for termites.
What will a Timber Pest Inspection Identify?
A comprehensive timber pest inspection conducted by a qualified professional will identify both minor and major damage associated with all these timber pests in readily accessible and visible structural elements of the building. And the final timber pest inspection report should systematically itemise evidence of identified timber pests, with their location, severity, and recommendations for rectification, as well as conditions conducive to timber attack in the future including inadequate sub-floor ventilation, presence of excessive moisture, untreated or non-durable timber, bridging or breaching of a termite barriers, and insufficient slab exposure. Further, the report should also note any evidence of the property's existing termite management programs and provide advice on ongoing termite prevention and management. That's a lot of valuable information which may not be evident to an untrained eye but essential in preventing post purchase trouble.
It's obvious a pre-purchase building inspection without a timber pest inspection may only be giving you half the story whose ending may turn out to be an expensive nightmare.
So it's vital that you get both inspections before you purchase and to save time, money and a whole lot of hassle, why not combine them. Especially if the two can be conducted by the one professional who is appropriately trained, qualified, and conducts each inspection to Australian standards using the latest technology including thermal imaging.
Some people may tell you that it is important to have different inspectors. Unfortunately, many pest-only inspectors are not completely unbiased, often using a cheap timber pest inspection as a loss leader for selling you a more profitable termite treatment.
An expert timber pest inspector not only needs specific qualifications in termite management and control, but must also have extensive knowledge of construction methods specifically designed to deter termites, the susceptibility of various timber products to timber pests, and knowledge of where man-made tunnels are likely to exist in building structures for successful detection of termite activity. Many pest controllers simply don't have this knowledge.
For a completely independent assessment, you can't get better than a qualified building inspector who is also trained and qualified in timber pest management together with extensive years of timber pest inspection.