When Maida Services performs a New Hampshire or Massachusetts home inspection or commercial property inspection, we ALWAYS include a Wood Destroying Insect Inspection (termites, carpenter ants, etc.) that is sufficient for FHA or VA lending, at no additional charge. This inspection is called a "visual, sounding and probing inspection".
Some New Hampshire or Massachusetts home inspection companies may not include a Termite or Wood Destroying Insect Inspection Report unless you are willing to pay an additional fee. Other commercial or home inspectors will only perform a "visual" pest inspection for signs of destructive insects, which, is really not sufficient. It is absolutely necessary to probe and sound out the areas that are susceptible to attack.
 
And, if your New Hampshire or Massachusetts Home inspector is only performing a "visual" service, when insects are located, you may need to contact a specialist to determine if/how much of the structure was damaged. While interviewing any Massachusetts or New Hampshire home inspectors that don't include a "termite" inspection, be sure to ask how much the additional charge will be.

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Wood Insect

Wood Destroying

Insect Inspection

Included in Every Inspection

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Termites & Carpenter Ants
 
Termites and Carpenter Ants are a considerable problem in New England and they can do extensive damage to your home or building without you knowing it. (Sometimes the signals are impossible for the untrained eye to detect.) Our New Hampshire and Massachusetts home inspectors are fully trained and certified to perform pest inspections in addition to being State Licensed New Hampshire & Massachusetts Home Inspectors. Maida Services New Hampshire and Massachusetts Home Inspectors thoroughly examine the property for evidence of termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, powder post beetles, etc.
Typically, if you are pursuing FHA or VA lending, you are required to have this type of "visual, sounding and probing" inspection for Wood Destroying Insects. An FHA Loan (Federal Housing Association) or a VA Loan (Veterans Association), usually requires its borrower's to have this inspection on a specific form (NPMA-33) and signed by a Certified Pest Inspector. Also, if the property being purchased is on a private water supply, specific parameters are almost always required to be tested. If you are not sure what your lending requires, you should check with your Mortgage Broker, Realtor or Attorney.
If you're loan is NOT going through FHA or VA lending, there are some key benefits to your Massachusetts or New Hampshire home inspector performing this "type" of inspection including discovering hidden structural damage and insect infestation. This way, if infestation is found, you can ask the seller to pay for a treatment to assure control and/or if damage is found, expenses for repairs could be a potential renegotiation issue with the seller.
Signs of Termites

 

The following list indicates common signs of a termite infestation:
  • Mud tunnels along the foundation of the house inside or out.
  • Wings or sawdust near windows, doors or in the garage.
  • Buckling paint or tiny holes on wood
  • Flying or "swarming" termites in the house, especially near light sources.
 
Discouraging Termite Activity:
The following are tips to help you improve conditions that are inviting to termites. (These measures will not prevent or control infestations.)
Moisture attracts subterranean termites. Moisture problems should be corrected as follows:
  • Eliminate any standing water and its source.
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clean, in good repair and free of clogs.
  • Use splash blocks where necessary.
  • Maintain proper ventilation and remove obstructions that prevent access to the crawl space.
  • Repair leaky plumbing or any drainage under the house.
  • Remove wood, such as scrap lumber, boards from foundation installation, tree stumps and firewood from the ground and away from the home.
  • Cut back all shrubs/bushes away from the foundation of the home.
 
If you suspect your home has termites, we recommend contacting a pest control company. Generally, the products that pest control companies use are stronger and last longer. Also, many professionals use chemicals that don't have an odor.
 
So, what should you look for in a pest control company?
  • State certification or licensure
  • The company should be well-established
  • They should treat seasonally; not with monthly service contracts
  • Be wary of companies that try to scare you into buying products or services
 
The full effectiveness of chemicals in buildings is ONLY temporary. A homeowner must follow up treatment with the elimination of moisture and food source, and implementation of preventative measures mentioned above.
 
Signs of Carpenter Ants

 

If you suspect Wood Destroying Insects, have your home inspected. Carpenter Ants damage a home by chewing out the wood and use the tunnels as shelters in which to breed and raise their colonies. Worker ants gnaw out tunnels to house the colony.

They don't use the wood as food, the way termites do. Sometimes homeowners will discover piles of coarse sawdust either inside or beside their house. The piles often look like a cone-shaped pile accumulating just below the nest entrance or hole. This pile may include, in addition to the wood fragments, other debris from the nest, including bits of soil, dead ants, parts of insects and remnants of eaten food.

But more often the carpenter ant does its damage without anyone noticing. That's because the "evidence" is often hidden in places such as: behind insulation in basements where there may be dampness from improper flashing of stairs or decks; around or in back of dishwashers that may be harboring moisture and behind siding that is hidden or covered by shrubs that are too close to the home.

Carpenter ants usually become pests when they come into houses because they are foraging there for food. If their "food" is available near or in your home (other living and dead insects, sweets, meats, and fats) then they may decide to stay, and build tunnels or "ant galleries" in the wood in your home. They also like damp or decayed areas that provide a water source and ease of entry.

Measures you can take to prevent a Carpenter Ant infestation:

  • Minimize moisture conditions

  • Use construction techniques that permit wood to shed water quickly and dry easily

  • Avoid wood in contact with the ground.

  • Separate wood from concrete or masonry with a waterproofing compound.

  • Provide adequate ventilation in damp areas

  • Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris

  • Check behind insulation (especially around windows and doors)

  • Inspect periodically to detect leaks in roofing and siding, and around chimneys and gables.

  • Firewood should not be stored in the house or attached garage.

  • Do not pile wood or firewood against the house.

  • Inspect wood again before bringing it into the house, unless it is to be used immediately.

  • Reduce or correct moisture problems around automatic dishwashers.

  • Trim all trees and bushes so branches do not touch the house.

  • Trim all shrubs so that they are not in contact with the home and so that you can periodically inspect behind them.

  • Store firewood off the ground and away from the house. he longer wood remains undisturbed, the more likely it will become infested. Keep on hand only that supply that you plan to use during one heating season.

 

If your home is infested with carpenter ants you should: either call a pest control company, or, you could do it yourself. If you decide to treat the problem yourself, visit a hardware-type store and ask for a salesperson who is well versed in pesticides to make recommendations on what product(s) you should use for a carpenter ant infestation. Be sure to thoroughly read the instruction labels and properly protect yourself during the application process. If you decide to call a pest control company, the good news is, a carpenter ant treatment is usually much less expensive than a termite treatment.

 

Remember, a homeowner must follow up treatment with the elimination of moisture and food source, and implementation of preventative measures mentioned above.

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