How to Prepare Your Home for Termite Inspection
Atermite inspection is essential for homeowners because it can alert you to structural damage in a home due to a termite infestation. Even if you don’t have any termites, an inspection could help you prevent future infestations, and therefore damage, to your house. However, many homeowners are unsure what to expect or how to prepare for a termite inspection once it’s scheduled.
Termite inspections are minimally-invasive, thanks to the advent of new technology. Still, you will be encouraged to engage in a few simple housekeeping activities before the inspectors arrive; this includes tidying up your living space so that the inspectors have easy access to certain spots.
It is a good idea to routinely engage in such activities anyway, as this will significantly reduce the likelihood of future infestations. Being able to catch the signs of a termite infestation will undoubtedly make a big difference, allowing you to catch issues before you are forced to make costly repairs.
Why Prepare Your Home for a Termite Inspection?
The termite inspection will involve a thorough analysis of your living space to see if there is indeed an infestation and to determine the degree of the problem.
A big part of the process is the deployment of a tool called a moisture meter. It can be difficult to find leaks on the inside of a wall. This challenge is compounded by the fact that it really doesn’t take very much water at all to sustain a termite population within a house.
Other resources used during a termite inspection may include:
● Borescopes are fiber-optic probes that allow termite inspectors to look inside a wall. This is a minimally-invasive technology, but it can provide a termite inspector with a lot of information.
● Dogs may be introduced to detect the presence of termites (animals will be brought into your home at your discretion, of course).
The termite inspector may also utilize methane detectors or microwave sensing devices.
Although the equipment they use is not too invasive, you will need to ensure that the termite inspectors have enough room to operate the equipment to its best ability; this is a big part of why preparation on the homeowner’s part is certainly welcome and much appreciated.
How to Prepare Your Home for a Termite Inspection?
The following are a few things you can do to best prepare your home for an upcoming termite inspection:
Keep Things Dry
Since the moisture meter picks up on water sources, any excess moisture inside the home can result in signal interference; this includes performing activities like mopping a floor or taking a steamy shower the day of the inspection.
Make sure that the home’s floor and interior have been given several hours to dry before the termite inspectors come to the house.
Leave Plenty of Room by the Walls
In both the garage and the inside of the house, you will need to move items away from the wall to allow easy access for the inspectors. Items, including furniture, should be moved at least several feet from the wall.
In the garage, the inspectors will be looking for characteristic mud tubes, which would indicate that the termites have been burrowing into the house.
Clear Out the Cupboards Under Sinks
The pest control company is likely to ask that you clean out your cupboards as much as is reasonably possible. The inspectors need to have access to areas under sinks and other water sources.
Termites need to be near a source of water to live. If you suspect termite damage in your home, this will always be the first go-to location to see if there are any living specimens. The contents (under the sink) of the cabinet should be transferred to an airtight container at this point.
Free Up Space in the Attic
A portion of the termite inspection process will also involve checking the attic. Many drywood species of termites actually first enter the home through the attic vents. Here they go unnoticed since it is unlikely to be an everyday occurrence for you to maneuver yourself up into your home’s attic space.
For the inspection process, you need not remove items from your attic entirely. You just need to ensure that there will be enough room along the edges of the attic for the pest control company to take a closer look at what’s going on.
You might consider placing smaller items in stackable plastic storage containers. This will always make pest control efforts simpler because the attic will be much less cluttered.
It’s also not a bad idea to get rid of as many cardboard boxes as you can. Cardboard is a convenient home for a host of common household pests, not just termites. This strategy can go a long way in preventing future infestations from occurring.
Trim Shrubbery Around the House
Trim Shrubbery Around the HouseSometimes homeowners spot termites in their yard and interpret this to be cause for concern. The good news is that termite sightings outdoors are not necessarily signs that a home infestation is imminent. These are critters that would really prefer to be outdoors, but sometimes environmental conditions mandate that they find a new food source, particularly as the insect population is allowed to grow unrestrained.
One of the best defenses against a termite problem is a clean and tidy yard. Pest control companies will also prefer that you clean up around the exterior of your house before the inspection, as this will ensure easy access to the home foundation and the crawl space (if you have one).
● Wood piles: It’s best that woodpiles are not allowed to rest up against the side of the house. Wood piles provide an easy habitat for termites. It will also be too simple for the insects to make a seamless transition from the wood outside to the wood inside your house.
● Shrubs and bushes: Routinely trim back vegetation as is necessary. Make sure that you trim shrubs and bushes before the inspection.
● Ensure that the entire zone near the foundation is visible: Wood components of the building close to ground level are often ground zero for an infestation. The inspectors will make recommendations on how wood siding, door, and window frames are to be adjusted.
Preparing for Termite Treatment
If the termite inspector finds a termite infestation and deems that fumigation is necessary to rid your home of them, you’ll need to be prepared for that process as well:If the termite inspector finds a termite infestation and deems that fumigation is necessary to rid your home of them, you’ll need to be prepared for that process as well:
• Similarly to the previous tips, you’ll want to ensure your home is clean and tidy, and all furniture is still moved away from the walls.
• All foods, beverages, and medicines not in airtight packaging will need to be removed.
• Perishable items should be thrown out.
• Items worth saving—that will not be safe from fumigation chemicals—will need to be placed in an airtight container and transferred to a storage pod or another alternative storage option.
• You will want to keep fumigation-safe items on-site. Otherwise, you run the risk of spreading your termite infestation.
• Vacuum storage bags can keep smaller items left inside the home safe from the fumigation chemicals.
With a little bit of housekeeping, both inside and outside your home, you can help make a termite inspection successful. Even if your termite inspector, unfortunately, finds termites, having a clean home will make the process of eliminating those pests much easier. These activities also serve the additional purpose of decreasing the chance of any future termite outbreaks.