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00:28: Theodora: Hello, and welcome to 680 Home Video Channel, a web series where we answer all of your real estate questions. I’m your host Theodora and I’m talking to local East Bay real estate broker Doug Buenz.
00:40: Hi Doug, It’s great to see you!
00:42: Doug: Nice to see you, Theodora.
00:44: Theodora: The topic today is termite inspections. So Doug, what does the average person need to know about termite inspections?
00:52: Doug: Termite inspections. That’s actually not the correct name. It’s actually technically called Wood-destroying Pests and Organisms Inspection. And it refers to both termites as well as dry rot which is a wood-destroying organism which is a fungus. And as well as other insects that destroy wood including beetles.
01:13: So, a pest inspection is a very common part of every transaction here in California. There are two types of termites prevalent in our area. Subterranean termites which live in the soil and they attack wood by building mud tubes up from the soil to the wood. And they go back and forth, they eat the wood, digest it, go back from moisture and go back up. So subterranean termites exist under the sub floor of the house typically. They are fairly easy to treat. You can treat the soil that they live in and that will eliminate the termites.
01:52: The other type of termite would be a drywood termite. These are termites that swarm in random patterns through neighborhoods. The drywood termites are treated by tenting the house. So if you drive down the street and you see a big – more looks like a circus tent over a house, they’re fumigating the house for drywood termites. And that’s the most effective way to treat drywood termites. There are other treatments but for transactional purposes, they need to be certain that the termites are treated. So, typically it has to be fumigated.
02:23: A pest inspector, when they do an inspection will look at several things. They’ll look at the exterior roof eaves for signs of dry rot. They’ll look at the exterior wood trim for the same thing – for dry rot. And inside the house, they’ll look inside the attic. They’ll check the ceilings of each room carefully looking for water leaks and a potential for dry rot there. They’ll look very carefully at the bathrooms. They’ll check all the tub and shower surrounds and the tile there to make sure that there’s no dry rot or damage to the tile. They’ll look under sinks for water leaks and damage to the sink area. They’ll look at the sub floor and underneath the home, they’ll look at the drains in the tub and shower area. And they’ll look for termite tubes underneath the floor as well.
03:14: When a termite inspector or pest inspector issues a report, they break their findings down to the three main areas. Section 1 would be any items where there’s active infestation or damage. So if there’s active dry rot, and it has destroyed the wood or if there’s active termite infestation from either subterranean or drywood termites then it will be called a Section 1 item. It means it needs to be treated. In California, typically the seller must remedy any Section 1 items.
03:44: Section 2 items are items that are deemed likely to lead to infestation or damage. These are things that are typically more considered preventive maintenance. It’s an area where if you leave the situation alone eventually it will lead to dry rot or infestation. Examples of this would be, for instance, soil piled up against wood trim on the side of the house. If you leave soil against wood trim eventually it will rot out. Or if you have wood trim that’s not properly painted or sealed. Or if you have bathroom floors that are not caulked at the seams next to a shower where water can get in, that will ultimately lead to damage. So those are Section 2 items. Typically, buyers pay for Section 2 items in California.
04:29: But last major section of a pest inspection report would be a further inspection item. And that’s where the inspector believes that there’s a strong possibility that there’s damage hidden behind a surface. So, typically you’ll find it in a bath or shower area where the inspector believes that maybe dry rot or fungus behind the shower’s surface. In that case, they’ll come back out and they’ll remove a tile or whatever surface there is to peek behind there to see if there’s actual damage. If there’s damage, it gets reclassified as a Section 1 item and the seller is typically responsible to pay for it. If there is no damage then the termite inspector will repair the surface and return it to its normal condition and the buyer is typically responsible for the cost of that further inspection.
05:19: The best prevention for dry rot and problems associated with it is to keep wood well-painted and sealed and keep all bath surfaces and any surfaces that are in common contact with water well-sealed and caulked.
05:43: If you have real estate questions or need assistance I do hope you’ll give me a call. I’m worthy of your trust.