- On February 11, 2016
Some common misconceptions
Safehome Inspectors in Melbourne are qualified to conduct pre-purchase timber pest inspections, commonly referred to as pest inspections or a termite inspection.
Do you need to get one is entirely up to you but we believe you are not totally sane if you don’t. The reasons for this, I will explain below, along with some common misconceptions about termites.
I am not 100% convinced that one in three homes in Melbourne has termites as stated by some people. I am quite sure though, that about 1 in 8 dwellings we carry out building and pest inspections on in Melbourne will either have live termites or past termite damage.
Termites are extremely difficult to find.
We assisted another building inspector recently where the homeowner found termites (alates) flying out of timber in the beams and window frames. He couldn’t find where they were getting in from. We used the Termatrac Radar and detected movement in behind the wall, which was obviously termites but no hollowness, was detected on any flooring, window frames or skirting board. We got under the home, which was easily accessible and could not find any mud leads to indicate a termite infestation entering the home. The timber bearers, joists and floorboards were tested for hollowness and none was found. The Moisture meter was used on the walls and no excess damp was evident to suspect termites. Had we of inspected this home without knowing of the termites flying out the walls and not using the Termatrac radar meter we would never have found any termites either. The only way to find these termites is by removing the wall that one cannot do during a pre-purchase building inspection. We have had three inspectors go to the home and none could find an entry point. They are hard to find at times.
A brick House in a Slab won’t get termites
Wrong. Yes they will. We get this all the time. The only time the presence of termites would be rare would be on a solid brick home on a slab with a metal roof frame and metal door and window frames. Or a home built solely from metal framed with no timber. Brick veneer homes have a timber wall frame that is holding up the roof frame. Termites can get in via the weep homes, slab edges of bathroom pipe penetrations – we know as we have seen it. Our experience with termites in homes on a slab is they enter via the weep holes, especially when garden beds have been built against a wall, the slab edge near a hot water overflow or through the pipe penetrations. Don’t ever think a brick home won’t have termites.
Can you guys just do the building inspection and if you see them, let us know if we need a termite inspection?
This is a common request and the blunt answer is no. Termites don’t walk around a house like common ants. They go inside the timber from the ground and stay inside. They build mud tunnels up non-timber objects like masonry and concrete stumps to get to the timber. Moisture readings need to be taken as termites emit a fair bit of moisture in the warmer months when they are active. We have to timber test bearers and joists under the house as well as roof framing to test for hollowness which may indicate termites. Just turning up and doing a building inspection and then informing our client that there were no termites seen won’t exit out mouth. You either get a termite inspection or you don’t. If you don’t we would be irresponsible to inform you that the home does not have any termite problem. We would not be covered by insurance if we did, which means you wont be covered by our insurance either.