Termites - First Time Home Buyers-how to Check for Termites
When you're in the market to purchase a home, it's easy to allow yourself to focus on the emotional and aesthetic aspects of selecting a property. While it is, of course, very important to choose a house that appeals to you aesthetically and can become a long term home for your family, it's also vital to make sure that the house you want to purchase is structurally sound and free from active termite infestation or damage.
Before your lender finalizes your home loan, a professional termite inspector will have to visit the property to verify whether or not the presence of termites or un-repaired damages from prior infestations is a concern.
As a first time home buyer, you can save yourself a great deal of time and heartache by learning how to check for the presence of termites and termite damage yourself. The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a home only to discover at the last minute that you can't secure funding because of termite problems.1. Watch for Termite Tubes
The presence of small tubes made from mud on the exterior surfaces of a property is a tell-tale sign of termite activity. The existence of termite tubes isn't necessarily a sign that a property is currently infested, but it definitely means that it has been preyed upon by termites at some point in the past if none of the creatures are currently present.
As subterranean insects, termites live underground. However, they must travel from their colonies to the properties they infest in order to feed. When they must leave their underground hiding places, termites build these tiny tubes, usually about the same thickness as a pencil, to shelter their progress. 2. Check Wooden Areas for Termite Damage
Look closely at the wooden parts of the home, as well as those of any exterior fences, garages, carports, sheds, and other structures. If you notice hollows in the wood along the grain, it's very likely that termites have burrowed inside the wood, eating it from the inside out. Typically, the tunnels left by termites will be covered with dried soil.
The absence of visible termite tunnels does not necessarily mean that the wood is free from damage. Keep in mind that termites can tunnel their way into wood from the backside. This means that active or prior termite infestation can be a factor in the condition of the home even if you don't detect termite entry points on the visible parts of the wood. 3. Check Drywall or Plaster Walls for Signs of Infestation.
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