A wood destroying insect inspection is an essential aspect of the overall home inspection process that involves looking for signs of damage caused by insects that can weaken and destroy the wooden structure of a home. Many loan programs such as FHA, HUD or VA require this inspection to be performed; typically, your loan officer will tell you when one is required.

Wood-destroying insects include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, and carpenter bees. These insects can cause significant damage to a home’s structural integrity if left unchecked, and it can be costly to repair the damage they cause.

During a wood destroying insect inspection, the inspector will visually examine all accessible areas of the home, including the basement, crawl space, and attic, to look for signs of insect activity. This may include checking for termite mud tubes, carpenter ant sawdust, or powderpost beetle holes.

The inspector will also look for any conditions that could attract wood destroying insects to the property, such as moisture problems or wood that is in contact with soil. After the inspection, the inspector will provide a detailed report of any insect activity or damage found, along with recommendations for treatment or repairs if necessary.

It’s important to note that a wood destroying insect inspection is not typically included in a standard home inspection, so home buyers should specifically request this service if they want it. In areas with a high risk of termite or other insect infestations, it’s often a good idea to have this inspection performed as part of the home-buying process to ensure that the home is free of any damaging pests.

I strongly advise all home buyers to have their prospective homes tested for radon gas. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that originates from uranium deposits in the ground. Radon gas exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and it can seep into homes through cracks and holes in the foundation, walls, and floors. Here are some of the key reasons why you should have your home tested for radon gas:

  1. Radon is a serious health risk: Radon is a radioactive gas that can cause serious health problems when it is breathed in over time. Exposure to high radon levels can increase your risk of developing lung cancer. As the second leading cause of lung cancer, radon is estimated to be responsible for over 21,000 deaths yearly in the United States.
  2. Radon is common: Radon is present in all parts of the United States and can be found in both new and old homes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in every 15 homes in the United States has elevated radon levels.
  3. Radon is odorless and invisible: Unlike other types of indoor air pollution, radon is odorless and invisible, which means that you cannot detect it without the use of specialized testing equipment.
  4. Testing is easy and affordable: Testing for radon is a simple and inexpensive process that can be done by many professional home inspectors. The cost of a radon test is minimal compared to the potential health risks associated with high radon levels.
  5. High radon levels can be fixed: If your home has elevated radon levels, there are proven methods for reducing radon levels. A professional radon mitigation system can be installed in your home to reduce radon levels to a safe level effectively. When detected prior to the purchase of a home, the installation cost can be negotiated with the seller.

In summary, testing your home for radon is an important step in ensuring that your home is safe and healthy for you and your family. Radon is a serious health risk that can be easily and affordably tested for, and high levels can be mitigated with proven methods. As a home inspector, I highly recommend that all home buyers have their prospective homes tested for radon gas.

More information can be found here:

EPAs publication Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide To Radon

Ohio Dept of Health About Radon

A sample report of mine can be found here

As a home inspector, I have seen countless new home buyers who are not familiar with the basics of maintaining a house. Here are the top five things that new home owners should know about maintaining their first house.

  1. Keep an eye on the exterior– Your home’s exterior is the first line of defense against the elements. Regularly inspect the roof, siding, and foundation for any signs of damage, and make repairs as needed. It’s also a good idea to keep trees and bushes trimmed away from the house to prevent damage from falling branches or roots.
  2. Understand Your Home’s Systems- Understanding your home’s electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems is important in order to avoid any accidents or costly repairs. Knowing how to shut off the main water and gas supply, where your electrical panel and the main shut-off breaker is located can save you time and money when emergencies arise.
  3. Pay Attention to Water- Water is one of the biggest threats to a home, so it’s essential to keep an eye out for any signs of water damage. Look for water stains on ceilings or walls, drips from faucets or toilets, and any musty odors. Addressing water issues quickly can prevent them from becoming major problems affecting your new home and health.
  4. Stay on Top of Home Repairs- No matter how well-maintained your home is, things will eventually break down. When they do, it’s important to address them quickly. Ignoring minor issues can lead to more significant and costly repairs down the line. Make sure to set aside a rainy day fund for home repairs and prioritize repairs in order of urgency.
  5. Plan for Regular Upkeep and Improvements- Your new home will require regular upkeep to keep it in good condition, and you will likely want to make improvements over time to fit your changing lifestyle. Create a plan for routine maintenance such as painting, gutter cleaning, and landscaping. Consider making improvements such as adding insulation, repairing any defects found during your home inspection, replacing old appliances, or updating the kitchen or bathroom.

In conclusion, maintaining a home is a big responsibility, but with the right knowledge and effort, you can keep your home in good condition and retain its value for years to come.

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