Termite Letters and Termite Bonds
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What is a termite letter?
“Termite letter” is the common name for an official report issued by a certified pest control operator that documents the results of a visual inspection of a structure for wood-destroying organisms. Typically, a termite letter is required by the buyer or mortgage lender before a real estate transaction can be completed.
In the states where PURCOR does business, the report has slightly different names: In Georgia, it is the Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report; Florida has the Wood Destroying Organism Inspection Report; and in South Carolina, you might hear it referred to as the Official South Carolina Wood Infestation Report or the CL-100.
What does a termite letter do?
The termite letter provides some protection of a property with structural damage due to insects or wood decay fungi. Each state has different laws; please refer to your states report for this information.
Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina all require that inspections be performed and reports issued by a pest control company licensed to do so.
Regardless of where you are, the report should document:
- If the inspector saw live termites or other wood-destroying organisms or evidence of their presence
- Where the damage was found
- What caused the damage
- Evidence of previous treatment for termites or other wood-destroying organisms
- Whether there were obstructions or inaccessible spaces that could not be inspected
- Conditions such as excess moisture or water damage that are conducive to infestation
What does a termite letter not do?
A termite letter does not replace having your home professionally treated and placed under an ongoing warranty. It is a visual examination of areas that are accessible to the technician. While termites leave clues that trained professionals can often see, they may go undetected even with proper inspection.
A termite letter also does not report on structural damage, regardless of cause. If evidence of wood-destroying organisms is reported, the damage should be evaluated and repaired by qualified building experts.
Understanding What the Termite Letter Means
The report may reflect that, after a thorough inspection for specified organisms, the structure is “clear” of any visible evidence of an infestation. Evidence of damage or repairs from previous infestations may be reported, however. This is common in the Southeast. If you are buying or selling a home or business, your realtor can advise you on next steps.
It’s important that homebuyers do not rely solely on a “clear” termite letter to guard against wood-destroying organisms (due to the limited amount of coverage if any). PURCOR recommends a thorough termite treatment of the structure, annual inspections and a warranty program for ongoing protection.
Termite warranties, also known as termite bonds, are contracts that warranty against these destructive insects. There are two main types: retreatment only and repair bonds. Following an evaluation of your home, PURCOR technicians will discuss the best option for you.
Contact us for more information or to schedule a free inspection.