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Termite & Renewal Inspections

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A renewal inspection is a termite inspection.  It is a visual inspection to all the perimeters of your house, both inside and outside, and also to any other permanent structures on your property.  This isn't very high tech.  What it means, is that our termite inspector (or any termite inspector) will need to check the basement, crawl spaces and the attic.  Not all properties will have the same specifications, so the inspector will enter these areas, and any other area where he can see the original foundation and substructure.

worker termite
The Enemy!
If you have a crawl space, make sure that the crawl entrance is accessible to your inspector.  That means that if your crawl space entrance door has, let's say, 42 screws holding it shut, they should be removed by YOU before our inspector arrives. He will have neither the tools or the time to undo and then RE-do all those screws - you'd be surprised at how many times this happens.

Also, if your crawl space is wet at certain times of the year, be sure to call for your inspections when they are dry.  Termite inspectors cannot properly inspect wet crawl spaces.  We will also need to inspect your garage, and any other outbuildings you might have, attached or unattached.

If you have an attic, (that is easily accessible) we will want to inspect for signs of water leaks and any carpenter ant infestations attracted to the moisture. Carpenter ants will take advantage of any moisture source they can find, and even a small amount of constant moisture will be an attractant.  Check our carpenter ant page!

For those of you covered under our Renewal Plan, our Renewal Brochure explains all the ins and outs of our program.  Homeowners wishing to join our renewal program, please contact us for details.

United Exterminating Company supplies termite inspections by credentialed inspectors. Currently, in New Jersey, there are only 43 fully licensed Accredited Wood Destroying Insect Inspectors.  (Dec, 1999)


Be sure to tell your inspector of other problems.  Such as plumbing or roofing leaks of which you might be aware.  Water incursions are important factors to control to keep your home (or any structure) free from termite problems.  As an example, if you have had your roof repaired because of a leak, be sure to tell the inspector.  Termites will survive and keep on working if they have available moisture, even in properly treated structures.  We see this happen all the time.

Don't expect your inspector to be anything more than human.  Which means he doesn't have X-ray glasses to see inside the walls, behind paneling or other obstructed areas. It is entirely possible for you to have active termites, for years, and never experience or see any outward signs of their presence.  This is true even for the "pro," and even if you have them make regular inspections.  Remember, there are no experts.  Every exterminator learns something new, every single day, and every house is different, from every other, even if they look exactly alike.  Each has a different set of variables that affect how and when a structure gets termites.

Finishing Garages or Basements
You also want to remember to call us (or your own exterminator) if you change your house in any way.  Such as putting on an addition.  Or perhaps finishing your basement or garage.  Why?  Because you'll be hiding those areas that the termite inspector wants to see, so if you're going to do it, one last look is good.  Not only that, but if treatment is recommended, then doing it BEFORE construction will surely save you money and consternation later on.

And if you forget to call....

It is very important to PRE-TREAT all new construction. That means if you construct an addition, it should be pre-treated for termites.  Most pre-treatment needs to be done during the construction process, not after.  If you forget, we have to do something like this....
A belated pre-treatment for termites

Also, if you're considering building a NEW house, you'll definitely want to visit our Termite Pre-Treatment Page to see what can be done to your home, for termites, when it's under construction.


Do it Right!

Proper Construction
In this photo you can see how the future wall studs are secured not to the wall, but to the joists above and a plate below.  Avoid puncturing cinder block walls.  Strips of wood nailed to the wall are a No-No.
By the way, there are ways to finish off your basement or garage so you can minimize your future termite problems. Most of these methods are no more expensive than doing it the "other" way, so just let us know, we'll be glad to go over it with you so you can ask your builder about it. Most of these methods must be incorporated into the original construction, so you must think about this beforehand.

And what if you don't?  Well, it probably won't matter too much for the first few years, but as the structure ages, the termites will take advantage of your careless omissions, and you'll be visited much sooner than if you had made those few adjustments.

Normally, basements aren't designed to be "finished."  If you're building a house and know you'll finish the basement off, now or in the future, the best approach would be to build the foundations with this in mind.  This means (at the minimum) either 18 inch block or 10 inch poured concrete foundation walls.  Pilasters, along the entire wall, about every ten feet or so are recommended, and they should either be solid blocks or hollow blocks reinforced with steel bars and filled with concrete.

Standard basement windows let very little natural light into a basement, so consider installing larger windows by building a deeper well for the window.  This one detail can make your finished basement so much more liveable.

To accommodate access to all house systems, you should contract for an extra course or two of block to give you a standard (finished) eight foot ceiling.  Inside and outside french drains are also in order, with a double sump pump on the inside.  Your final finished walls should be constructed as I outlined above, and if you have enough room to allow access between the foundation wall and your final finished wall, you'll be way ahead of the game.

If you need the room and can't build an access, your finished walls should be mounted with screws, so you can remove it if necessary.  Finish details and trim can hide the screws from view and still allow access if needed.  Plates or other members in contact with the slab floor should be pressure treated, all other studs should be kiln-dried lumber.  If you use wallboard for finished walls, use vapor barriers and wallboard manufactured specifically for basement applications.  Don't "go cheap" on any part of the construction and you'll have a tight, dry basement that will last a long time.

Not too many basements are built like this, but if it were, you could be reasonably sure you've done all you can.

Wanna try our Termite Job Estimator?  Even though it's mostly designed for our own local service area, anyone can try it.

Still have questions? If so, we have a public Message Board where you can browse questions and answers on all subjects.

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