Why you should trust your most important investment to a Timber Pest Specialist

Cover Photo

In recent times we have come across a large number of clients who were interested in purchasing a new home. The following is a case of which we come across regularly due to the lack of care taken by Building & Pest inspectors in the industry.

Case Study – Pre Purchase Building & Pest Inspection; Brisbane

One of our most recent clients had just purchased her home in Brisbane in early June 2015. She had done what most new homeowners do, researched the house, had a good look around the area, and everything seemed up to scratch. After making the decision that this was a house they could see themselves in they contacted a company which sold Pre-Purchase Building & Pest Inspections for new and existing homes.

The inspector had a quick look inside the house and out in the yard, prepared his report, sent it through, and went on his way. Stating that he could not find any termites / white ants in the house, or evidence of such. As the property was several acres, he did note that there were active termites found in yard in which he located and noted in his report.

So everything seemed in good condition and the house was a good buy! Not too long after that, the contract was signed and the purchase finalised.

And then tragedy struck…

During the cold winter days of June our new Homeowner was bathing her children in her ensuite shower and, kids being kids, water had splashed everywhere! While she cleaned up her kids and the mess, she had noticed that the water had drained away into the corner of her bathroom door frame. Curious about why this was happening she investigated and discovered a small hole in the bottom of the frame and, with a bit more digging, all of a sudden she had dozens of termites / white ants crawling all over her timber floorboards!

Termite Workings in Subfloor

Thick Termite Mud Lead up Subfloor Pier.

In shock, she jumped onto google and looked up a reputable termite / white ant specialist and found MacCotter Termite & Pest Control. She contacted our lovely receptionist, and had organised a time with our technicians to come around and investigate the damage and termites / white ants that afternoon! The receptionist also advised the customer to tape up the hole that was made when she discovered the activity to keep the termites / white ants from sensing danger and moving elsewhere.

Sure enough, our friendly technicians had arrived as fast as they could. We had investigated the door frame, and did a little bit more digging ourselves. This was an upstairs bathroom so we had a good look in the lower level, a look in the garage, and under the staircase. What we found under the staircase was shocking to us all. Not only did we discover active termite leads, we found what was close to an entire nest! Large clumps of termite mud & some pretty serious damage was hidden under this staircase. Immediately we had recommended that a full inspection should be done on the home to determine the extent of the infestation.

White Ant Leads & Damage in Subfloor Timber Structure

Active Termites / White Ants in Termite Damaged Timber Structure in Subfloor.

Keep in mind that this home had already had a pre-purchase building & pest inspection done prior to the purchase and their report stated that there were no active termites or damage located inside the home during that inspection. The termite activity that we had already seen made it pretty obvious that this activity had been here for some time.

As termite / white ant specialists we can never trust another “inspectors” report. If he missed this much termite activity then there could be more. So we had organised a full termite inspection in which we had plenty of time to go through this home with a fine tooth comb.

White Ant Lead up Subfloor WallOn the day of our termite inspection we knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, it never is with termites.  Starting from the sub floor (underside area of a raised building – usually beneath floorboards) we had found live termites in their mud leads up the sub floor walls and into the main structure of the building, on their way devouring a timber workbench and some other structural timbers.

On the main level of the house above the sub floor we found them in the original ensuite door frame, but also climbing up the laundry room walls, and even in the linen cupboard.

And as soon as we looked up and into the roof void we had made an even worse discovery; Extreme damage in the roof rafters (the timbers which hold up the roofing iron). All of this damage, which should have been discovered during the pre-purchase building & pest inspection, had been completely missed.

White Ant Damage in Roof Cavity

Termite Workings in Roof Void - Before

White Ant Workings & Damage in Roof Cavity

Termite Damage in Roof Void - After

We have since treated the active termite infestation and have proposed long term termite protection for their home. The damage is yet to be fully determined and repaired.

Now the reality is, in some situations it may be unwise or unsafe to climb into some roof cavities and sub floors, and we can never guarantee that a home is completely safe from termites. But what we do know is that if you are looking to purchase perhaps the biggest investment of your life, you want it to be inspected by professionals. We specialise in Pre-Purchase Timber Pest Inspection reports and we do not offer Building inspections. But what we do recommend is that you research whom you are trusting your future home inspections to and have your home inspected by a Termite / White Ant Specialist (MacCotter Termite & Pest Control) as well as a separate report by a Building specialist. You don’t go to the baker to have your car problems diagnosed and it’s equally important to have a specialist in each field determine the health of your property prior to purchase.

We – MacCotter Termite & Pest Control – have the latest technology in termite detection, the Termatrac T3i, as well as regularly installing long term termite protection systems and inspecting & treating active termite & general pest infestations. Many Building & Pest inspectors do not. As we are not builders we would never presume to know more than a builder and the same should be considered regarding timber pests. This is why it’s vital to have a specialist in each field conduct your pre purchase inspections.

Trust your home to a specialist.

MacCotter Termite & Pest Control – Your local family owned Termite / White Ant Specialists.

The Termite Queen – Our needle in the haystack.

Termite Queen - She's nearly impossible to find.






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