Understanding Pest Control Reports

March 24th, 2011


Watch Next Video: Part 2


I’m Brian Santilena and I’m a real estate agent in the markets of Oakland, Piedmont and Berkeley California.  Because of my background as a contractor I have a special interest in educating my buyers and sellers about the condition of the home they’re looking to buy or sell.    I have to put out a liability disclaimer here.  I am NOT claiming to be an inspector.  That’s not my job.  I’m a real estate agent, I help people buy and sell homes.  I recommend that you hire a reputable, local and licensed service provider to investigate any property you’re buying or preparing for the market. 

The term Pest Inspection typically conjures up images of bugs!  While termites, carpenter ants and wood boring beetles all create damage to homes, water against wood leads to dry rot and fungus damage and are also huge issues. Pest Control Inspections assess the overall integrity and condition of the wood components of a structure.  In this series of videos I am going to go over the basics of a Pest Control report and give you some things to look for before you get into contract. 

Let’s start with inspection companies in general.  All inspectors should be licensed by the California Structural Pest Control Board (licensees can be checked at www.pestboard.ca.gov).  I have found that even though all inspectors are supposed to be following the same inspection guidelines there can be huge variations in the amount of their findings.  I’ve seen upwards of a $40,000 dollar difference between 2 different companies.  My best advice is that you use licensed, reputable and local company.    The last thing you want is to pay for what you think is a good inspection and later come face to face with potentially expensive re-negotiations.

Reports are broken down into a few main Categories.  Section 1, Section 2, Further Inspection recommended.

Section 1 indicates that damage to wood has already occurred.

Section 2 means that if you do not take some sort of preventive measure, damage to wood will likely occur.  An example of this may be calking that’s missing around a bath tub or sink.  No damage yet but without the calking water will likely trickle in and lead to future wood rot.

Further Inspection means that the inspector couldn’t get a good look at the area due to inaccessibility.  It could be to much stuff in a garage, or perhaps the crawl space was to small for the inspector to fit in. 

While it isn’t always possible If you see “Further Inspection” on a report you really should do whatever you can to gain access to the area or might be adopting an expensive repair.

There are a lot of ways for the wood to become damaged in a structure, and this isn’t meant to give you every possible one, but there are a few leading causes that seem to come up regularly.  In this series we will look at some of the leaders. 

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