WHAT IS A GOOD TIMBER PEST INSPECTION?
A timber pest inspection, as conducted in most countries, should be more than simply looking for termites. Certainly a client wants to know if termites exist or have existed, and they would like to know what to do with them if found. Likely they want to know this above all else.
Inspectors should also include borer, or fungus or any other known natural way that wood deteriorates. Sometimes timber will simply lose its resin and bond, and fall apart to a mild fungus. It is all natural, but not what is wanted in a home.
An inspection should also nominate what are the conditions present that may bring about a further deterioration or invite future timber pests. For example, are there large or small stacks of untreated timber in the backyard? Have the verges been surrounded by non treated timber?
Treated timber is simply that which is treated by arsenic, pushed into the timber under high pressure, so that termites will not eat into it. There is also some wood that is resistant to termites as it is so dense, and can even sink in water.
There is also moisture, in places around the house that may turn an area into a site susceptible for future attack. If there are leaks under the shower, a drip from the floor above, they can all encourage timber pests. Termites need moisture and heat, and if there is either artificially under a house then that will encourage a future timber pest attack.
There is also a risk of such an attack if a site is unventilated, preventing the underneath of a house to dry out. All these factors are important.
One of the most important points in such an inspection is to isolate what is a danger. If there have been pests, and they have created a dangerous situation, this needs to be known. For example, if a pergola has been eaten away, it needs to be isolated so that the client can know what to do with it later.
In saying all this, we do not mean that timber pests are bad and need total eradication. Finding the right termites on a property, that do not eat household timber, and they do exist, is important to know. Termites and timber pests form a natural function and if they did not exist the world would be under hundred feet of undecomposed timber. So the genus of the termites is important to know as well.
Nick Broadhurst is the author of science fiction books, children’s picture books, and comics. He also writes articles on contemporary philosophy. For a living he is an architect, building contractor, building inspector, and worked in many countries.