This week I was showing a property with some soft wood flooring that seemed to be cracking and bubbling as we walked on it. The more we stepped, the softer it felt. We weren't sure if it was moisture or termites, but we knew there was a problem. The home inspector noted that he thought there was termite damage in the flooring.
So what would you do? Would you buy a house with a potential termite problem?
Step 1 - Get the contractor who worked on the floors to come take a look and see what he thought and try to get him to open up the flooring so that a termite inspector could see the actual damage.
When the contractor started pushing on one of the open cracks, 2 littls termites came out, which answered our question immediately. Then he proceeded to open up the flooring as shown.
Step 2 - call the exterminator. The termites inspector did find the colony of termites, and examined the entire property for evidence of any other activity. He also found the location from which he believes that entered the house. In this case they came in the concrete. While termites are usually thought of as bugs that like wood, they are just as capable of coming in through the gaps in the concrete.
Step 3 - the very next day, the exterminator treated the property with a liquid/foam product that kills the termite colonies.
Step 4- Pull out the damaged flooring. In this case we decided to have all the flooring upstairs pulled out. Better safe than sorry. As it turns out, a couple of the other softer spots were not termite eaten, and one spot that we thought would be destroyed was actually not all that bad. It didn't matter, because all the floors would be replaced with new wood laminate.
Step 5- Buy the warranty. The exterminator said that their treatment of the termites carries a 1yr warranty. On top of that, after 3-6 months they can come back and examine the house and warranty the entire property for any new damage from that day on. It costs around $300-$400 a year, worth every penny.
So would you buy a house with termites? As long as it is properly treated, repaired, and warrantied, you can feel confident about saying, Yes!