Found Your Dream Home? Make Sure it’s Termite-Free

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The real estate market in Arizona is rebounding, with home values increasing and more buyers on the lookout for new homes. If you’re looking for your perfect property – or you think you’ve found your dream home – make sure you do your research and make sure it’s termite-free.

We often joke that there are two kinds of homes in Arizona – those that have termites, and those that will have termites in the future. Unfortunately, our warm desert climate Phoenix and the surrounding areas a perfect habitat for large termite colonies. The most common species is the subterranean termite, and their colonies can contain more than 300,000 termites. The highest concentration of these colonies is on reclaimed desert land, where most of Arizona’s new construction is taking place.

New homes are required to receive a termite treatment which protects the new construction against termites. This protective barrier typically lasts about five years, and gradually degrades over time. The pest control company that provides this service to the builder before or during construction of the home is required by state regulation to treat occurrences of subterranean termites for five years following the date of the original treatment.

If you are buying a new home, or a home that was built within the last five years, make sure that the builder provides you with the termite record, or TARF. You can also search for the property’s TARF by address on the State of Arizona’s Office of Pest Management’s website.

If you plan to purchase or have purchased an older home, we recommend that you get your home inspected for termites. Our inspectors are Arizona State certified and will visit your property and perform a complete interior and exterior inspection. After we’re done, we will sit down with you to explain your options for preventing or treating the termites in and around your home.

The best part? Our termite inspections are free, and come with no obligation to you. This is an important step to take as a homeowner because if left unchecked, subterranean termites can do considerable and expensive damage to your home.

If you are buying an older home, it’s likely that the previous owners have made cosmetic changes to the property since the barrier treatment was applied. Some of the things you can look for are:

  • Improper grade of the soil around the house – always make sure water drains away from the home
  • Irrigation systems installed too close to the home
  • Fence posts or other decorative wood elements that touch both the soil and the structure of the home
  • Landscaping installed within 16 inches of the home’s foundation
  • Wooden decks or patios installed against the foundation of the structure

 

Even if your home has been treated with a protective barrier in the last five years, a termite inspection is a good idea, because these barrier treatments are not always 100 percent effective.

Some of the factors that impact the effectiveness of termite barrier treatments in Arizona include:

  • The type of barrier treatment and equipment used
  • The type of soil around your home and the moisture content of the soil
  • Weather conditions on the day the treatment was applied
  • Cosmetic changes to the home that can destroy or disturb the treated barrier

 

Keep these tips in mind when you are shopping for your new home in Arizona, and avoid the damage that subterranean termites can wreak on your new property. By making sure your home was properly treated at the time it was built, getting a termite inspection and taking steps to safeguard your property, you can help your new home stays termite free! Call us today for your free, no-obligation termite inspection.

Photo Credit: Diana Parkhouse via photopin cc