Before signing on the dotted line for a home, it is important to take a few cautionary steps to ensure the foundation and structure of your home are secure, rodent free and clear of any moisture or water damage. Investing in a professional inspection can save you thousands of dollars in flooring, framing, and foundation repair after purchase. Most sellers will negotiate their asking price based on the damage estimates and provide you with a pest, rodent, and moisture free home that you will enjoy for years to come.
Uncover any potential structural faults before you buy with a Countrywide Home Buyer Report.
When moving into a home, even a newer home, ask the current owner if they have pre-treated their home against termites. If they haven’t, understand that termites have sometimes infiltrated home after four days of being built. Repairing termite damage is one of the most common expenditures, no matter how new or old your home is. In the first run-through of the house, look for tell-tale signs of damage such as sagging floorboards, weakened beams, and holes in banisters or frames. As your professional is checking for termites, if there is damage found in the foundation, framing or flooring, receiving an estimate will save you money by negotiating that with the asking price. If exterminators are called, it shouldn’t be at an additional cost for you.
Rodent nests and infestation
A lot of times this problem can’t be fixed with simple mousetraps, you’ll need a professional pest control service to rid your home of not only the visible rats and rodents, but their nests that can be hidden within walls, in pipes or gutters, in attics, and even burrowed near the foundation. Most professionals agree that rats are instinctively wary of traditions methods of rat traps and poison. The damage done by these pests will be very easy for a professional to notice like the tell-tale gnawing into walls and nesting in insulation. As rodents are rapid breeders, this problem MUST be taken care of before moving in to ensure your family is safe from the diseases carried by the rodents and their waste that can make your home stink.
Before an expert is even called, there are several signs that will give away a problem. Even minimal water damage will cause odors that will get stronger as the weather becomes warmer and mold starts to grow in your insulation and framing. Though the moisture damage may be deceptive, an expert will easily spot any damage to the structure and give you an estimate of the projected costs for repair. For slight water damage in hidden areas, an expert will use a meter to determine the damage. An expert will also be able to identify possible future moisture sources and contain or remove the damage, as well as providing industrial equipment to dry the problem areas.
Make the initial investment for an inspection and save yourself thousands in future structural repair and pest and rodent infestation. These inspections and subsequent pest control treatments will help you feel comfortable and safe and sound knowing that you’re the only residents in your future home.
Lucy Markham is a graduate of the University of Florida in English and creative writing. As a recent homeowner, she considers herself a bit of an expert on home improvement and décor as she devoted countless hours to improving her new home.