Termites damage more than 180,000 Australian homes annually and are a widespread problem. The estimated cost of this damage is in the range of over 1 billion dollars.
Termites are social insects that are ground inhabiting and live in colonies. Several million individuals may be present in a well-established colony.
It is highly recommended to have a professional timber pest inspection undertaken prior to buying a home. Termite damage can be costly to repair and it is best to ensure the home is termite free prior to settlement.
After settlement, the owner is responsible for regular inspections of the property to identify possible termite activity. If termite nests are found, they should be destroyed by a qualified pest inspector.
The risk of damage to the structural members of a property can be reduced with the installation of Termite management systems. These systems are commonly physical barriers installed during construction of the property, however they cannot prevent the entry of termites but help to deter concealed entry points.
Termite management systems are to be installed, as required by the Building Code of Australia. They should always be maintained and compliant with the recommendations of the manufacturer along with AS 3660.2. Australian standard AS 4349.3 is the only recognised standard for pre-purchase timber pest inspections.
In every West Australian residential building sale contract, a standard clause has now been added called the ‘Timber Pest Pre-purchase Inspection’. This Clause applies to all standard Real Estate Institute of Western Australia contracts.
Master Building Inspectors only recommend suitably qualified and insured businesses that can meet these requirements.
Please note that a building inspection report is different to a pest inspection report.
A pre-purchase building report will identify any damage as a result of termites, but it won’t detail if termites or other timber destroying pests are present.
A brief video can be found here.
Please contact us for further advice.