Termites can be destructive
Inspect before you buy
What insects are we looking for:
Five primary wood destroying insects are prevalent in central Pennsylvania and include Subterranean Termites, Carpenter Ants, Powder Post Beetles, Old House Borer Beetles, and Carpenter Bees. Termites are the most destructive of wood destroying insects. When damage caused by termites becomes evident, it is usually the result of years of hidden infestation. Termites work around the clock damaging wood and any other cellulose containing building materials. Termites work silently, mostly undetected and hidden from view in the wood on which they are feeding, in mud tubes, in soil, and in the structures (homes) they invade.
The Wood Destroying Insect inspection:
Wood destroying insects are very common in Central Pennsylvania and cause damage to many homes in our area. The Wood Destroying Insect Inspection will attempt to visually identify not only the presence of Wood Destroying Insects, but also any damage they may have caused to the structure. During a visual inspection, neither a professional Pest Company inspector or home inspector with the same PA State Dept. of Agriculture Certification can see any more than you can. The majority of wood structural framing that termites and other wood destroying insects can attack, cannot be seen.
Evidence of termite activity and damage:
Your inspector will inspect the attic and basement under the home if there is one. These are the two places where the structural framing of your home can be inspected. However, limitations to the inspection include the presence of insulation and the occupant’s furnishings and storage. Since plaster or drywall covers the majority of the home’s structural framing your inspector is only able to visually inspect about 10% or less of the home’s wood framing. This leaves about 90% of the home that cannot be inspected for termites and other wood destroying insects. The fact is, termites and carpenter ants can gain access to the home through any small cracks or openings in the foundation or exterior of the structure. Once they have gained access and get into a piece of wood it could be years before there’s any visual evidence of their existence.
This is why a visual inspection is limited. If you look at a wall inside a home that is covered with drywall and siding on the outside, can you see the wood framing inside that wall? Well, neither can your inspector. Since wood destroying insects are prevalent in our area of Central Pennsylvania, you must assume any home is vulnerable to infestation. Regardless of the limitations present, this visual inspection is still worthwhile performing.
If the home you’re going to purchase has signs of Wood Destroying Insect activity, then chemical treatment for the control of these insects may be recommended. Without treatment, your new home could be eaten right out from under you and can result in costly repairs. Your inspector will provide a separate Wood Destroying Insect inspection report that will identify his findings and any limitations to the inspection.
- Your Inspector – Chris Matteson
- PA State Dept of Agriculture Certification # 608264
- PA State Dept of Agriculture Business License # BU11653
Winged Termite Swarmer
There are two levels of inspection:
Level I – Wood Destroying Insect Inspection: Fee starts at $125 (Save on Bundled Services)
- This inspection satisfies all residential home sale loan requirements as well as all government backed (VA, FHA, USDA) mortgage refinance requirements.
This is a visual inspection of readily accessible areas of the structure. It is the most commonly performed inspection for home buyers who are purchasing a home and for home owners who are refinancing there mortgage. Why? Because up to now this was the only level of inspection offered by home inspectors. Depending upon the home being inspected, a visual inspection is often performed and very often identifies WDI activity when present. However, many homes have hidden areas such as insulation covering; framing in attics, above foundation walls and between floor joists. Inspection of these areas is limited to probing with a long rod to detect soft areas of wood behind insulation where WDI damage could exist. This represents an inspection limitation for your inspector because he can’t see behind the insulation. Another limitation occurs with the presence of drop ceiling tiles in basements that conceals framing above. The tiles are very often difficult to move and sometimes damage to the tiles and or ceiling system can occur if moved. So they are not moved by the inspector. Finished basements with drywall or paneling concealing framing and foundation walls, excessive occupant storage, and inaccessible areas also limit this inspection. Regardless of the limitations present, this visual inspection is still worthwhile performing and satisfies all mortgage underwriter requirements. The home buyer can choose to have this inspection done at the same time as the home inspection.
Level II – Wood Destroying Insect Inspection: Fee starts at $250
This inspection is performed for a home buyer when a more comprehensive WDI inspection is desired. This inspection combines the (Level I) inspection with moving of insulation in attics, basements and crawlspaces where visible and accessible. This is a more exhaustive inspection that takes significantly more time to perform. The time and fee to perform this inspection depends upon the size of the home and the amount of accessible insulation present to be moved. Thus the fee cannot be quoted until the inspector arrives at the home to determine the scope of the inspection. Sometimes this inspection must be scheduled for a separate day and time.
The home buyer should indicate what level of inspection they want performed when scheduling their inspections with their home inspector.
You will be asked to sign an inspection agreement that outlines the scope and limitations of the inspection.
You get with every buyers home inspection:
FREE 90 Warranty,
FREE 200% Satisfaction Guarrantee
Accurate Home & Termite Inspections
50 N. Linden Road, Hershey, PA 17033
Serving Central Pennsylvania and these surrounding cities:
Harrisburg, Hershey, Hummelstown, Middletown, Annville, Lebanon, Palmyra, Lancaster, Lititz, Manheim, Elizabethtown, Mt Joy, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, New Cumberland, York