understanding termite inspection

Understanding Visual Timber Pest Inspection

To avoid any misunderstanding, we undertake all inspections in accord with Australian Standard 3660.2-2000 or in the case of pre-purchase inspection, the Australian Standard’s 4349.3-.1998. If you wish, you can obtain copies of these standards by calling Defence Pest Management.

All inspections are non-invasive and are limited to areas of the property where access is readily available and permitted. Any areas where access was limited or restricted is noted in the report with advice for further inspections.

The Inspector will be using a tapper to determine the sound in some timbers or may use a sharp knife to carry out splinter testing on structural timbers, either in the roof or the subfloor. Splinter testing will only be carried out where the person who has ordered the report is also the owner of the property. It will not be done for a pre-purchase inspection without the written permission of the owner.

The inspection is a visual inspection only. Restrictions to this visual inspection will not be moved. There will be no invasive cutting, breaking or dismantling to gain access. A more invasive inspection is possible and may be done on the same day and time, but only with permission of the owner.

By its nature, a building has many concealed areas. There may be roof areas with no access or the area between floors. Floor coverings can be restricted by stored goods. Sometimes there is inability to gain full access to areas like the eaves because they are simply too low.

A termite inspection does not have a warranty that there will not be any future infestation of termites. Or in some cases, the infestation is in its infancy and not able to be found at the time of the inspection.

Our reports will indicate the degree of damage ranging from moderate to extensive and are only in the opinion of the inspector’s. A more invasive inspection would need to be undertaken to determine all the damage and its degree. This is done by a builder in conjunction with the pest inspector. These invasive inspections are also necessary to evaluate the cost of repairs.

If termites or even evidence of termites are located within the boundary of the property, then you must assume that damage may exist in areas that are not visible. Evidence will only be located when these restrictions are removed.

In the report, you will find a list of definitions. The report needs to be read in conjunction with these definitions. It is very critical to note that in any inspection for termites, if there is evidence but no active termites located (regardless of whether a treatment has been undertaken), it may be possible that termites are active or may not be active in that area or nearby. It may only be determined by future inspections, that is why the Australian Standards recommends a yearly inspection on properties without any evidence of termites and less frequently (six months or even three monthly) on properties where there has been previous evidence of termites.

With Defence Pest Management, we go beyond the Australian Standard with the equipment that we use. An essential part of our equipment will include Termatrac. This is a microwave device that picks up movement inside walls. It is used in conjunction with the moisture meter. Moisture meter picks up a variation of moisture within surfaces that are outside the normal range. When there is a variation, normally higher moisture content or where the test tapping indicates some degrading of the timber especially excavation by insects sometimes, decay is the first indications.

In conjunction with the test tapping, moisture meter and Termatrac, we also use a thermal image camera. This camera is broadly used to determine areas of moisture especially around bathrooms, kitchens, laundry and between floors in two-story houses. Moisture in these areas would indicate water leaks that encourage termites into the vicinity. On a  micro basis, moisture in a skirting board or behind a wet area (like shower cubicle) may be caused by a variety of reasons. It could be active termites, a water leak or it may be something simple like a change in the waterproofing material in this area. So, a technician trained in the use of thermography will be able to determine if there is the need for a more invasive inspection. Keep in mind that monitoring of these areas is advised.

The moisture meter should be run around all available timbers especially skirting boards, architrave and window sills. The test tapping of the timbers is again required in all these areas. While you are doing this, it is essential that the inspector visually inspects any gaps between the skirting, architrave, the main wall material (gyprock), et cetera. It is because if termites have been in the vicinity or are in the vicinity, they would mud up the small gaps to preserve humidity. Equally important is when you are test tapping, you need to listen very carefully to the sound of the tapper on the material. This determines if there is any cavity within which is indicated by a change in the tone of the tapping – a little bit more drummy to at the extreme where it is like hitting a piece of paper with a screwdriver. This may indicate active termites or a previous infestation.

Here at Defence Pest Management, our inspectors are fully trained and licensed. We regularly conduct updates and share experiences about termites. Termite inspections are the putting together of training and experience to determine the risk of termites, as well as manage the treatment of termites, to a property.

Importance of Pest Inspection in Buying or Renting a Property

Put yourself in this scenario: you are in search for a new house, and after months and months of being on the lookout, you finally find what you are looking for – your dream home. Read more

Building Inspection Report

What to Expect in Comprehensive Reports

Every time your property undergoes a building and pest inspection, our technicians from Defence Pest Management will provide you with the findings on the condition of the property and any occurrence of pest infestations through a comprehensive report. An electronic copy of the report may be sent out and another hard copy will be provided to the party that has requested the inspection.

How We Conduct Pest Inspections

Since our aim at Defence Pest Management is to help property owners maintain their homes by getting rid of pests and preventing potential infestations, we thoroughly search every room of the house and all accessible areas including subfloors and roof spaces. Pests that linger inside buildings don’t make it easy for humans to find them, so they will hide in places that are not frequented by human residents.

Their hiding areas also usually provide them with the most ideal condition for survival, allowing them to continue growing in number without being noticed. Our inspectors, with the use of the newest technology in pest inspection, will look through all possible locations of nests and colonies, and note telltale signs of infestations that could lead to where the pests could be hiding.

Details That You Will Find in the Report

Our comprehensive report will have a checklist of the areas that have been accessed and inspected by our technicians. The condition of the structure during the time of inspection will also be documented. Some areas that we will inspect for pest activity are:

Interior Areas

  • All accessible rooms
  • Roof void
  • Subfloor

Inspection in the interior area will likewise include the inspection of walls, doors, windows and other parts of the home interior, especially those that are made of timber.

Exterior Areas

  • Lawn or yard
  • Objects in the yard that may be susceptible to infestation
  • Exterior structures that are part of the property

The report will include any potential threat or risk of infestations as well, such as the presence of decaying wood in nearby surroundings or other timber objects lying around your yard that could attract pests into your property.

If we have handled or are aware of previous pest treatments conducted on your property, this may be detailed in the report as a reference.

Most importantly, if pest activities have been detected in your property, the report will include the most effective method of pest treatment and management that our team can recommend for getting rid of the pests found in your home.

urban building

Understanding Building Inspections

For property owners, whether you are currently living in your own house or renting it out to tenants, you know that the most important responsibility is maintaining your property. Hence, we recommend at Defence Pest Management that you have your house inspected on a regular basis, to ensure that you conform to the standards of the Building Code of Australia.

Building inspections are not just a means to know that a structure uses high-quality and durable materials, but also to ensure that the property can provide safe and healthy habitation for all occupants. Property inspections can be done as part of a regular routine for property maintenance, and are also conducted on properties that are being put up for sale (pre-sale or pre-purchase inspections).

What Is Included in Building Inspections

During building inspections, a technician will visit the property to examine all accessible areas and documents any findings about the property. Any visual damages and problems will be documented. A building inspection report will highlight the condition of the property at the time of inspection, and this will be given to the property owner. With this report, the property manager or owner can determine if there are areas of the home that require repairs and any issues that may lead to future problems.

This is why a building inspection is also important for property buyers so that they can get an idea of the condition of the property in which they are interested, allowing them to make an informed decision about purchasing the house.

In detail, a building inspection can help identify:

  • Chipped floor tiles,
  • Damaged floorboards and ceilings,
  • Cracked fixtures,
  • Leaking pipes, and
  • Jammed doors and locks.

What is NOT Included in Building Inspections

One common misconception with a property inspection is that it is the same as a pest inspection. In some cases, homeowners are surprised to know that the building inspection report does not include findings about pest infestations in their property.

Building inspections and pest inspections are, in fact, two different things. Although both involve the inspection of the property, building inspections are limited to investigating the visual condition of the house. On the other hand, pest inspections are specifically done to determine whether or not your home is infested with pests and if there are any risks of future infestations.

In addition, pest inspections are also conducted to help you identify and choose the most effective methods for combatting pests, such as termites, cockroaches and rodents.

If you are a property owner, you can opt for just a regular building inspection. Or, if you suspect that there are pests lingering in your property and want to make sure to avoid the risks of a significant infestation, then our technicians from Defence Pest Management can help with locating these pests.

apartment building

Pest Control in Rentals: Whose Responsibility Is It?

When it comes to rentals, the responsibility of maintaining a property’s pest control is often a concern for both landlords and tenants. Both parties should understand their responsibilities as pest control is a significant step in ensuring the sanitation of a dwelling.

The rules with regard to pest control in rental properties may vary among territories, so it is always important to review the laws in your local state and pay attention to the details of your tenancy agreement before sealing the contract.

In Queensland, ensuring a property is safe and fit for habitation prior to the tenancy is generally the landlord’s responsibility. During the period of tenancy, however, both the landlord and tenant can be responsible for a dwelling’s pest control maintenance, depending on the circumstances and scope of terms.

When Is the Landlord Responsible?

Prior to tenancy

Before a tenant moves in, the landlord should take all appropriate measures to make sure that the property is well-maintained and suitable for healthy habitation. This means the owner is responsible for pest inspection, as well as pest control and treatment, if necessary.

For termite control and maintenance of timber

In Australia, the maintenance of timber (as part of the structure) needs to be shouldered by the property owner and cannot be passed on to the tenant. It also follows that termite control is the responsibility of the landlord.

When pest infestation occurs during the first month of tenancy

In most cases, landlords will be required to cover the expenses of pest control if infestations in the property are discovered during the first month of tenancy. However, this may vary according to the regulating policies and tenancy agreement.

When plagues affect the local area

In situations where pests are plaguing the area where the property is located, which increases the possibilities of infestation, the landlord must initiate a pest inspection and will be responsible for pest treatment and management.

When is the Tenant Responsible?

If they have attracted pests or have caused the infestation

For tenants who own pets, which can attract fleas and ticks, they will need to take the responsibility of ensuring that there is no flea infestation in the property.

In addition, if the infestation has resulted from the activities of the tenant, such as taking home infested furniture or similar items, then the tenant will shoulder the removal of pests.

If the tenancy agreement states that the tenant will be responsible for pest control

The tenancy agreement will state the specific accountabilities of landlords and tenants. There may be clauses that will stipulate that the tenant will be responsible for pest control in certain circumstances. This is why it is important that the tenant reads and understands the lease terms before signing the contract.

Ensuring a Pest-Free Rental Property

For landlords, regular pest inspections are necessary for protecting your investment. At Defence Pest Management, we provide annual building inspections to help ensure that no pests are lurking in your property and that you can get the most out of your rental properties.

Tenants can also take advantage of our pest inspection services at Defence Pest Management whenever the need arises, such as when you come across minor sightings of cockroaches and other insects that can affect your day-to-day activities.

home inspection report

What You Will Find In Comprehensive Reports

When a pest inspection is carried out by Defence Pest Management, a comprehensive report will be provided as a reference on the findings of our inspector. Comprehensive inspection reports are given to clients so you will have a detailed overview of what to expect if you purchase a home and to help you make an informed decision. In these cases, it is recommended that you opt for an inspection before you acquire a property to make sure you will not need to spend more on structural repairs.

If you already own the property, the building inspection report will help you keep track of the condition of your home and any pest activities in the past. This allows you to have a better understanding of the risks of infestation and the ways you can address them.

What Is Included in the Report?

During the inspection, our team will note down every problem and all other findings they have about the property, including the current condition and the possible risks of future infestations. After the inspection is completed, these findings will be documented in the comprehensive report.

For pest inspections, the report will include the details of any significant damage caused by infestations of termites and other pests. The activities of pests that affect the structure, as well as their access points and degree of damage if left untreated may also be noted down. The potential risk of future infestations and the possible entry points, whether indoors or outdoors, will also be included in the report.

Next Steps After Obtaining the Inspection Report

Once the cause of damage has been identified by Defence Pest Management, specifically the type of pests causing the damage, we will suggest a plan of action that can be undertaken to control the pests and treat the infestation.

The solution can vary from the use of chemical barriers such as liquid termiticides, or using the baiting method to get rid of an entire colony. The type of treatment will also depend on the type of pests, as well as how they are known to react to specific methods.

The course of action will then be implemented and the treatment can be reapplied as often as necessary, but in most cases, it can last for several years.

In addition, we will let you know of further risks and recommend measures to prevent pests from coming back. We also advise you that you keep your inspections up-to-date and conducted at least once a year to ensure that hidden problems are not missed out.

sold houses

Defending Real Estate Properties Against Pests

If you are a property investor, a property manager or agent, then you should know the importance of pest inspections before you invest in a property. At Defence Pest Management, we can provide you with vital information you need to know about the property you are eyeing to invest in.

Pests can seriously damage a property and it is utterly dangerous if they are hidden from sight. There is no way for you to know the extent of the damage and the negative impact such damage can have on the value of the property. If you happen to invest in a property that did not go through full pest inspection, then you are risking investment in a property with lower value.

No Guesswork Investment

Our company eliminates the guesswork in property investments. Our in-depth pest inspection can detail pest problems that may be present in the property. There could be hidden termites that are already foraging in the timber portions of the property.

Not investing in a pest inspection can be quite risky. If you are selling the property for a profit and the buyer happens to have a pest inspection conducted, then you could lose at the negotiation table. With our pest inspection service, you are well informed beforehand if there are pest treatments that need to be done to raise or maintain the value of the property. If the property is seriously infested, it may be very difficult for you to find interested buyers for the property.

If you are buying a property, our pest inspection service can help you evaluate the true value of the property. You can fare better in negotiating for the price for the property, considering the additional work that you need to put into the property to make it a worthwhile investment.

Pest Management Services for Real Estate

Should there be pests found during inspection, Defence Pest Management can provide vital pest control services to remove existing pests. We use proven techniques to eliminate pests from the property.

We can also provide pest management services to rental properties. If you are running several rental properties, whether as an investor or as a property manager, you can benefit from our pest management service to ensure that your rental property is kept in good condition. This will help you build a good reputation among tenants and would-be tenants.

Protect yourself from unpleasant surprises because of hidden pests and pest damage in your property investment. We guarantee that you only get the best services to protect your investment.

lease agreement

Leasing and Termite Control Inspections

Concerns about pests, such as cockroaches, fleas, mosquitoes, rats and termites are there in almost every home. Therefore, there is a constant need for inspections and eradication measures for effective pest and termite control in Brisbane. When this is concerned with rental properties, the issue arises of who is responsible for pest control measures. In most cases, the responsibility lies with the landlord but, this must be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement at the start of the rental contract. Property managers can provide assistance in this regard to guide landlords and tenants of their rights and responsibilities.

Before any agreement is signed by the landlord and the tenant, a special clause is added regarding pest control. According to the legislation, tenants have the responsibility to leave the premises in the same condition as it was when they moved in, with the exception of the normal wear and tear. In case there was no presence of pests at the start of the tenancy period and was later found in the premises, the tenants will have to arrange and pay for the pest control and eradication measures. There is no restriction, however, from the landlord as to which company or product to be used for this purpose. In case evidence has been established that the tenants have contributed to the spread to pests and termites in the house, the tenants have to take all appropriate measures. How much is to be spent on the pest control measure cannot be specified by the landlord.

The landlords are responsible for ensuring that the property is well maintained and is in good repair. Landlords also need to make sure that the property meets the required health and safety laws. To make the premises free from pests at the beginning of a tenancy is the responsibility of the landlord. If there is sufficient evidence to prove that all pest control measures have been used for the property by the landlord, the tenants will be responsible for any future damage caused. In case, pests have invaded the premises as a result of any structural or environmental damage, such as flooding, the landlord has the responsibility of pest control because, in this case, it is not the fault of tenants.

Tenancy agreements are prepared by property managers and generally include the clause that the tenant must keep the premises free from pests and vermin. During pest inspections in Brisbane, if it is found that tenants have caused the pest problem to aggravate, tenants will be required to carry out pest control measures.

Save Money on your Pest Control Before you Move in

We are often looking for ways to save money, especially when it comes to buying a new house. It may be tempting to cut corners when it comes to pre-purchase inspections but doing so is definitely a case of being penny-wise and pound foolish. You could end up losing a lot of money down the line if a problem is picked up later rather than sooner.

An expert in termite control in Brisbane says that in the case of most structural problems or insect infestations, the sooner that they are caught the better. This would seem like common sense but it is amazing how many people try to ignore the problem for quite a while and seem to just hope that it will go away. According to our expert, these problems really only tend to get worse and can lead to significant damage to the house that costs a fortune to sort out.

Of course, if you really want to save money on these inspections, you can usually make a deal with the pest inspection company. Most of them offer not only pest inspections but also pest control and building inspection services. You will often find that you can negotiate a reasonable discount if you book all three as a package. Considering that you really should have the building inspection and pest inspection done anyway, it need not cost you a lot.

It is quite nice to know that, on moving in, you will not be plagued by any cockroaches, termites, etc. This is possible if you have a pest control expert in before you move into to your house. Look on it at as a completely fresh slate. Of course, it is a lot better to get all this sorted out before you move in.

Although pest control can be done when the house is full of furniture, it is a lot better to do it when the house is empty – that way the toxins can reach everywhere that the bugs might try to hide. If you can have this done when the house is empty, you will find that clean-up is a lot quicker and that it will be a lot easier to get rid of any residual odours. According to our termite inspections expert in Brisbane, there is nothing they hate worse than having to shift furniture to get at the route of the problem and so they will give discounts for those who have empty houses.

As a result, it is usually less expensive to have pest control done in empty houses. In any respect, this is not the area that you want to cut corners on – the building and pest control services are an integral part of maintaining the value of your home.

girl boxing

Get Tough on Pests

You can detect the presence of critters in your home if you know where to look. The problem is that it can take some time before you realise that those critters have caused damage to your home. The one sure way to determine if you have a pest problem is by hiring a professional to conduct a thorough inspection of your entire home.

You can control pests by using store-bought do-it-yourself products. However, putting baits here and there is a minor solution to what could probably be a bigger problem. In addition, the chance of the pest problem recurring or you failing to solve a significant portion of the problem is very high. A pest control expert will come in handy if the pest problem in your home can no longer be managed and controlled through do-it-yourself methods alone.

Defence Pest Management offers treatments for various types of common pests, including termites, rodents, bees, ants, spiders, cockroaches, bird lice, and more. One of the company’s technicians will identify the pests that are causing problems to your home and recommend a good solution. If you are purchasing or selling a property and you need expert pest inspections performed on it, then avail of the company’s competitively priced real estate services.

Full Pest Management Services

Defence Pest Management will help you from start to finish. The company employs a comprehensive systematic method that entails pest prevention implementation, continuous monitoring, baiting and regular meticulous inspections. The company’s team of experts will execute the pest control plan and confirm that the pests have been successfully eradicated.

The company distinguishes itself in the competitive market for pest control by including prevention methods, not just treatments for pest problems, in its service portfolio.

Advance Technology

Tried and test technology is used to make sure the building inspection is detailed and that potential problems will be detected quickly and efficiently. The company uses as little invasive technology as possible in its inspections to limit damage to the home. Being on the cutting edge of pest control technology, allows the company to provide the best service possible.

Customer Service

Services are provided by highly experienced and courteous technicians. In addition, the company offers excellent customer service, from start to finish, whatever type of assistance the customer needs.