Before closing on the purchase of a new home, it is important to have two home inspections. The difference between these inspection types may not be apparent to everyone.
Your basic Home Inspection – Hire a qualified home inspector who will do an inspection of the structural condition of the home including electrical, HVAC, plumbing, roofing. They will test appliances and look under sinks for leaks.
Your WDO Inspection – A WDO is an Inspection for Wood Destroying Organisms. This inspection is more commonly referred to as a termite inspection. It’s called a WDO because termites are not the only wood destroying organisms in the world. The WDO inspector is trained to look for things that we are not. They inspect the attic for minute damage that indicates the house has an issue. Always hire a qualified inspector to perform your WDO.
Additionally, the inspector will point out conducive conditions that could lead to a new termite infestation, or support an existing termite infestation, including firewood and other debris stored against the home, wood siding contact with the soil, and grade that does not slope away from the foundation. Other potential concerns may include mulching materials, landscape timbers and deteriorated wood in the home’s vicinity. The WDO inspector will provide detailed reports on the condition of the home, including notations of structural damage related to termites and other WDOs.
Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year, and are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected. Unless a buyer knows what to look for, termites can be hard to find with the naked eye and therefore it could take three to eight years before the signs of an infestation are apparent. To avoid getting stuck with extensive damage that is typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance, buyers should always request a wood-boring pest inspection before finalizing the purchase of a home.
Not all home inspectors can legally perform WDO inspections unless they work for a licensed pest control company and have been properly trained. Always hire a qualified home inspector to perform your WDO.