What are Pest Inspections, and how important are they to have as a property owner?
Whether you are buying or selling a home, it’s important to have a pre-purchase pest inspection. If you already own a home and are dealing with a pest infestation, or like to be cautious, organising a regular inspection will help to catch pests before they can do too much damage. In that case you’ll want to have a termite and pest inspection done on your property. Pest inspections are not limited to homes, they can (and should) be done for any building or property purchased or owned.
So, what is included in a pest inspection and what are you paying for? What should you expect and how do you know if your money on a pest inspection is being well spent? Through understanding what is included in any pest inspection, you’ll be able to choose the right one for the right price. Of cause, you’ll want to use the best pest inspection service available in your area, so here at Vital Building & Pest Inspections, we service the greater Sydney area. We are happy to provide free quotes for our building, pre-purchase, and pest inspections.
What is involved in a Pest Inspection?
While building and pest inspections can be done at the same time, a building inspection uncovers structural, conditional, and design defects or problems in the property including rising damp, structural cracks, and faulty roofs. Pest inspections, on the other hand, uncover evidence of things like termite damage which may be from old or current infestations.
Pest inspections are carried out by a Licensed Pest Management Technician with a Termite Management Chemical Licence. They are covered by the Australian Standard AS4349.3 known as “Inspection of Buildings – Timber Pest Inspections” and can be called a few different names, including Pest Inspection, Timber Pest Inspection, Termite Inspection, Pre-Purchase Timber Pest Inspection, or Pre-Purchase Pest Inspection.
Pest inspections attempt to identify various types of timber pests, their activity, and if the environment is conducive to them. The pests that may be found include termites, borers, fungal decay, and chemical delignification. While other things such as ants, flees, spiders, possums, rats, mice, and toxic mould may be found they are not covered by a pre-purchase inspection. However, they would be for a standard pest inspection.
When should I have a Pest Inspection done?
Since pre-purchase inspections are done whilst the home is for sale, it is important to remember that the inspectors are a guest in the property and as such may not be able to access all areas of the premises. If the pre-purchase inspection reported a risk of timber pests, you must assume that there may be some structural or concealed damage within the premises. That is when you should have a pest inspection done by someone such as Vital, and have a qualified builder, engineer, or architect carry out a structural inspection to determine the full extent of the damage and how much repairs are required.
If you are currently a property owner and have noticed little piles of dirt or wood dust around your property, it is probably time to call in your local pest inspector. Discolouration of walls and ceilings are also a good indicator of pests, or a pest hospitable environment has been established inside the premises. Faulty plugs or electrical issues could also be a sign of pests nesting in the walls, and of course any visible damage to timber or plaster is a big red flag. Remember, when in doubt, call a professional to come check it out. The best time to get a pest inspection is:
- Before purchasing a house or property – repairing damage can be expensive and having evidence can be a powerful negotiating tool. You also don’t want any surprises after moving into the property.
- Annually – it is important to pick up any pest problems before expensive damage is done. Routine inspections also include an assessment of ongoing risk through pinpointing faults in construction and any environmental or drainage issues that increase the chance of pest infestations.
What should I expect?
Whether you’re a home or property owner, or you’re renting, pest inspections are very commonplace around Australia. Your pest inspection will contain detailed, methodical, and careful examination by a trained and experienced pest inspector inside and outside the premises. Since they are looking for any evidence of termites, borers, wood decay, fungi, or mould they may use specialised tools. Any area of concern may be subject to a moisture meter, motion detector, or even thermal imaging cameras (how cool!), and of course the most effective and powerful tool… an experienced and practised eye.
A pest inspector will scrutinise and evaluate each of the following areas:
- every room of your home
- sub floor
- roof voids
- outbuildings such as sheds
- retaining walls
How long the pest inspection takes is fully dependant on how large the buildings and property are and when done properly can take up to a few hours. Your pest inspector will make detailed notes and take photographs used in their report. It’s best to be present during the pest inspection as well so that your inspector can point out and explain any issues they find, however, if you can’t be sure to ask for a detailed report that highlights all the current and potential problems.
AS 4349.3-2010: Inspection of Buildings – Timber Pest Inspections
Whether your property is home or commercial, your pest inspector must comply with the government’s standard 4349.3-2010 when undertaking inspections on properties. The standard specifies the minimum acceptable requirements for visual inspection and how the reports are handled regarding any timber pest activity. This standard applies to all sorts of building and is used by the following:
- Pest controllers
- Prospective purchasers
- Property owners and managers
- Building surveyors or inspectors
- Building consultants
Contact Vital Building & Pest Inspections
With over 20 years of experience in helping families and businesses repair and restore building damaged by the elements, structural defects, poor workmanship, timber pests and countless other causes we are the ideal company to provide your building and pest inspection. We’ve seen it all; we understand the causes and we know how to fix it and what it will cost. Vital Building & Pest Inspections use this experience to provide you with valuable information and insights on the real issues affecting your property or property you may be considering buying. We are based in North-West Sydney and perform inspections all over the greater Sydney area so call us today on 0401 012 074. Contact us today for your FREE QUOTE through our website, or send us an email at [email protected]