Before you buy your home, the seller has a duty to inform you of all previous damage to the home, including termite infestations. Of course, not every homeowner is forthcoming as they should be, especially since a history of termite infestation or unrepaired damage can lower a home’s value. Fortunately, buyers have other means at their disposal to dig up the truth on a home’s past termite history, including whether or not the home has ever been fumigated.
To start, if you buy a home and take on a mortgage, your lender will likely require you to get a termite inspection before you sign any paperwork. Even if you aren’t required to provide a report to the lender, it’s still a smart idea to insist on a termite inspection. The inspector will let you know if the home currently has any termites, and he or she should also be able to let you know if that home has experienced any infestations in the past. Termites leave their marks, and a good inspector can even see when previous termite damage has been repaired.
But how do you know if your home has ever been fumigated? Maybe you’re worried about the lingering effects of the chemicals, or you’ve seen evidence of past termite damage and want to know how it was treated. You are in luck. Since 1961, fumigators have been legally obligated to post a permanent sign on any property they fumigate. The sign must identify the fumigator, the fumigant used, and the date of the fumigation.
Where is this sign, and why haven’t you ever stumbled across one in your home? Usually these signs are posted in the attic, subarea, or the garage, and they can be easy to miss if you aren’t looking closely. Carefully look through your garage or attic, and if you don’t see a sign, it is likely that your home hasn’t been fumigated (at least since 1961). This may come as a relief, but almost all homes get termites at some point, especially in the San Diego area. If your home has never been fumigated or had an infestation, it may be time for an inspection just to be safe!
If you live in San Diego or San Diego County, contact Best-Rate Termite to schedule a termite inspection. We can also let you know if we see any signs of previous infestations and repairs.