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Termite Inspection – A Houston Priority

Getting a termite inspection before you purchase a house, and periodically as a part of maintenance, is a good idea in the Houston gulf coast area. You can make your home easier to inspect and less conducive to wood destroying by designing and maintaining the landscaping around the house so that at least two inches of foundation is visible.

Pier and Beam houses with crawl spaces should be kept free of wood debris and properly ventilated. Subterranean termites are very common in the Houston Gulf Coast area and are typically found in a house where moisture problems exist. Areas where the soil is too high, the brick or siding allows excess moisture build- up, leaking shower pans, and leaking chimneys are the most likely places for subterranean termites to occur.

Homeowners commonly discover subterranean termites when they emerge as reproductive adults from their colonies in Spring. Small dirt spots on the sheetrock (usually on either side of windows, or on walls next to showers stalls) are another common sign of subterranean termites. Termite inspections often uncover termites during repair or remodeling construction.

All homes have areas that can’t be properly checked. Seams between additions to homes, cracks in foundations, penetrations, and shower drains are common inaccessible termite inspection areas in the Houston area. Drywood termites can occur just about anywhere there’s wood in your home, but in the Houston area they, are not as common as subterranean termites and usually don’t pose a threat to the integrity of your home.

A termite inspection will usually uncover Drywood termites by the presence of their fecal matter (small sawdust colored pellets ) they push from small holes in the wood they occupy. Home owners usually discover them when reproductive adults develop and exit their colonies in late Summer or early Fall. They emerge at night and fly toward light (night lights, TVs, reading lamps, etc.)

The Texas Official Wood Destroying Insect Report is required by most lenders when you are purchasing or refinancing a house in the Houston area. You should be present when a termite inspection is done so you can question the inspector about the details of his findings on the report.

The following sample is typical of the current report required by lenders:

Texas Official Wood Destroying Insect Report