Termite troubles: Why regular termite inspections of your investment property are essential

Termites

They may be tiny, but termites have the power to completely dismantle your property investment dreams. Regular termite inspections are an essential part of property maintenance for all investors.

The trouble with termites

Termites are bad news. An infestation of termites (also known as white ants) involves tens of thousands of the little critters chewing the walls of a building into a useless pulp. Worse, because termites live entirely inside walls, infestations can be difficult to identify. In many cases, the termites will have been in the walls for a number of years and already done considerable damage before being spotted. Most infestations are identified only during renovations.

Because termites can be so hard to identify until it’s too late, having regular termite inspections conducted by a professional pest controller who will know what to look for is very important. The cost of a termite inspection might seem like an unwelcome cost, but compared with the massive expense of repairing major structural termite damage it’s money well spent.

Getting inspections done the right way

Australian Standards guidelines for termite management recommend that pest inspections be conducted at least once a year. The inspection should be carried out by a qualified pest inspector who is a member of the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association and who is licensed by the WorkCover Authority of NSW.

Don’t assume that a building inspection and a pest inspection are the same thing. A building inspector will check the structural soundness of a building, but may not be qualified to conduct a pest inspection. Always check that you are specifically getting a pest inspection and that the inspector has the appropriate licence and qualifications to undertake this.

Is it already too late?

If you spot any of the following signs, get a pest controller in immediately before the damage gets any worse.

  • Termites enter houses via ‘shelter tubes’. These snakey protuberances are made of plant matter, saliva, faeces and dirt, and allow them to make their way safely from ground level into the woodwork of a building. These are often clearly visible around the base of exterior walls.
  • Look for ‘honeycombing’ of skirting boards. If you can indent the boards with just the pressure of your finger that’s a sure sign of structural weakness caused by termites.
  • Unexplained bubbling or flaking of paintwork is another sign to watch out for.

 

Contact K.G. Hurst today for expert guidance on property investing and management in Sydney’s northwest.

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