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Do I Need a Pre-Purchase Pest Inspection in Melbourne?

Posted on 12 August 2014

When you are buying a home, the costs can soon mount up. Legal fees, inspection report costs, and many other expenses may leave you tempted to cut corners to save money. But when it comes to safeguarding your financial investment in a property, it’s never a good idea to skimp on the details.


One type of inspection report which often causes confusion is the pre-purchase pest inspection. Melbourne home buyers are often unsure whether they need to get an additional pest inspection report on top of the standard pre-purchase inspection report. In most cases, if you are buying a house you will need to get a pest inspection report to ensure that there are no termites present in or around your new home.


Pests like termites and other wood borers can cause significant, permanent damage to a home, and the damage can be done with little or no visible evidence. Repairing a termite-damaged home can be extremely expensive, and in severe cases can even be impossible. Without a pre-purchase pest inspection, it is very difficult to know whether or not your new home is likely to be damaged by pests as many of them leave little or no sign of their presence.


What are the signs that a property may have pest damage?

There are a few indications that a property may have termites present, although it is always worth getting an inspection to be on the safe side. Some of these signs include:


  • Swarming. At certain times of year, some termites will leave the colony to start new colonies and there may be dead termites lying under windows where they have tried to exit the home. If you are looking at a property and you see dead bodies of termites lying around, it is a strong indicator that there may be a problem.


  • Live bugs in wood around the property. If you find rotting wood in close proximity to the house, pull it apart and check for bugs. If you find live termites in it, there’s a good chance they may also be in the property itself.


  • Hollow wood. Severely damaged wooden structures in the home may sound hollow when you tap them.


  • Visible shelter tubes. Termites sometimes build thin tunnels made from mud and earth that are about the thickness of a pencil. If you spot these on exposed areas of the property it is likely that termites have been present at some point in the past, even if they aren’t still active.

Only an in-depth professional pest inspection will be able to tell you for sure whether or not termites are present at a property. Even if you don’t see any signs, it is usually worth checking to be sure.


How do pest inspectors look for pests?

Professional pest inspectors are experienced and can find evidence of termites and other wood boring pests that are easily missed by the untrained eye. As well as conducting a visual inspection of a property, a pest inspector will often use specialised equipment including thermal imaging cameras to look inside the wood and see if there is any evidence of activity or damage.


Once they have determined whether or not there is a problem, a pest inspector will compile a pest inspection report detailing whether any pests were discovered at the property. If pests are detected they will provide further details about the type of pests and the extent of the damage so that you can make an informed decision on whether to go ahead with the purchase or not.


Pest damage can cost you thousands of dollars to repair and in some cases it can render a home completely uninhabitable and unsafe. Make sure you take every precaution to protect your financial investment by getting a pre-purchase pest inspection in Melbourne, whether you think the property has termite damage or not.


By Darel McBride


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