Is your house due for a termite inspection? In that case, don’t just sit and wait for the inspectors to show up at your doorstep! More than anyone else, you do have an important role to play to keep your house free from these menacing threats. One way to fulfil that role is to prepare your place for the upcoming pest inspection. Cooperation on your part greatly improves the chances of getting a thoroughly completed property assessment.
What many property owners don’t know is that subterranean termites cause the most damage to wooden homes and features across the continent. Unfortunately, finding them isn’t as easy as it sounds. For one, their nests are hard to locate. That means your designated property inspector needs to gain access to every nook and cranny of the house to find where the termites hide and breed.
For the inspection to be done effectively, technicians will use a moisture meter—a handheld device that picks up humidity and moisture behind walls and within cavities and voids. You see, termite colonies often leave a trail of wet mud as they eat through wallpapers, timbers, and cardboards. It is this piece of by-product that moisture meters pick up on once the inspection commences.
To effectively use any specialised equipment and tools, inspectors will often hold devices hard up against a wall or surface. You can just imagine how difficult it would be to perform beyond the standard ocular inspection if the property hasn’t been prepared prior.
Getting Ready for the Termite Inspection
Signs of termite infestation can easily be missed if a specific area is obstructed by cabinets, utensils, appliances, garden equipment, bikes, barbecues, and even overgrown bushes/plants. Although inspectors wouldn’t mind helping property owners in moving stuff out of the way, this isn’t really an efficient use of their time.
Do your part and a thorough and more accurate inspection can be achieved. How do you do this, though?
For everyone’s safety and convenience, you will have to give a complete heads-up about the upcoming termite inspection. You can go as far as orient each household member regarding safety rules to observe as the inspection is getting done. When kids are involved, you have to make them understand how following safety guidelines can keep them from harm’s way.
Termite colonies could be built in some inconspicuous corner or spot in the yard. For the inspectors to be able to check these hidden nooks, you may have to clear trees and bushes (especially those that have anchored into the house’s foundation and external wall) that may potentially be concealing the termites’ headquarters. Bring in a tree pruning expert for the job if you have to get the job done quickly.
You may have to put away stuff you’ve placed in the basement, attic, spaces under the kitchen/bathroom sink, and other crawl spaces to give easy access to inspectors as they assess the said areas. Do this and you can be sure that nothing will literally stand in the way of a thorough termite inspection report.
As much as possible, keep your place clutter-free. Try re-arranging a few furniture pieces that could block areas that you suspect would need special attention. You may also have to move back free standing cabinets, and other furniture pieces a few feet away from the walls (at least two feet) as the inspector checks the house’s interior walls.
When you’ve got pets in the house, know that they can get pretty touchy once they sense new folks stepping inside. Some may disturb ongoing work and this can result in them harming themselves or the inspectors. In this case, it may be best to confine them (in the meantime) in a kennel or have them stay with the neighbours for a few hours or until the termite inspection has been completed.
Things to Avoid Doing Before the Inspection
For a more accurate assessment of your property, there are some things you might want to avoid doing.
On the day of the scheduled inspection, try not to mop the floors or take a particularly steamy shower (with the windows closed). Because moisture meters detect humidity and moisture, performing tasks or chores that involve water could get in the way of an accurate reading.
Have you spotted suspect termite activity in or around your property recently? Take note of the places where you found it because such clues can help the termite inspector narrow down his or her search. From there, tools will be used to pinpoint the exact location of the suspected termite colony.
It pays to remember to not disturb termites on purpose, too. In case you didn’t know, this can make things worse for the inspector because it drives the wood-eating invaders deeper into wooden structures or forces them to move elsewhere in the home.
The primary reason why you want to get a termite inspection done is to make sure your place remains free from the said pest. Of course, this goal won’t be met if the inspection would be unsuccessful in its aim of pinpointing the source of the infestation. It goes without saying that inspectors will need your help as much as you need theirs to accomplish the main objectives of the said assessment.
As a homeowner, there are things you can do to prepare your place for a termite inspection. Such simple preparations can surely save time and effort from all of the parties involved in the inspection, which would mean that you can get back to your normal routine sooner. Yes, a little cooperation goes a long way to ensure your property effectively keeps termites at bay.