Wood Destroying Organism Inspection (Termite)
Within the world of real estate transactions, wood destroying organism (WDO) and home inspections often occur side by side. Both inspections have a complete scope of work and reporting standards which are required to complete the task. Once the reports are delivered to the intended parties, the commonality of these services divides.
Typically, a WDO inspection report details damaged caused by nature, water sources (Section 1 findings) or list conditions which may lead to additional damage if left uncorrected (Section 2 findings). Either prior to listing the property for sale or during the sale negotiations, repairs on these items may be completed according to the recommendations in the report. Once the repair(s) are completed it is incumbent on the WDO inspection company to re-inspect the property to ensure the repairs where completed sufficiently to correct the defect and ensure the work is completed “in a workman like manner”. Once the WDO inspector determines the repairs are adequate, the inspector is required to submit a “clearance” for the property as detailed in the California State Structural Pest Control Act. Once the clearance is submitted, the WDO inspection company is responsible for the condition of that property, where WDO conditions are concerned, for 24 months. Re-inspections are an integral part of the daily operation of a WDO inspection company.
With regards to home inspections, once a report is issued a home inspection company has typically completed the service. A home inspector’s scope of work is greater than that of his/her WDO inspector counterpart. The report often details many more items than that of a WDO report. However, there is no mandate for the seller to conduct any repairs to items listed in a home inspection report. Home inspection companies have no authority or responsibility to dictate the manner or method to affect repairs. The items in the home inspection report become potential negotiation points between the buying and selling parties. Any actual corrective work, methods and materials used are governed by California State building codes, or as detailed in licensed trade practices. Yes, a home inspector may be requested to re-inspect a repaired item to determine if it functions or has been altered from the original appearance. But the inspector may not be able to determine the method(s) or materials used to make a specific repair. This is why the use of licensed contractors, proper permits, receipts for work completed and written work warranties are needed for any repairs made. The onus for the appropriate repair actions is on the person(s) doing the work and those who have hired them to complete the work.
Additionally, once a property has been inspected by a WDO inspection company, the initial report is considered a baseline for that property for a period of 120 days. This means that a WDO inspection company may re-inspect that property again to ascertain if any other damage has occurred or an insect infestation has become evident. This type of re-inspection is an appropriate activity for a WDO inspection company.
Again, the opposite is true for a home inspection company. Many home inspection companies may re-inspect a property for a new client, when the original client has declined to make the purchase. They may use the original inspection report as a baseline, and re-inspect at a reduced fee with a view towards reviewing the major systems only. They may be willing to accept the liability or exposure of conducting a limited inspection, or may not even understand the risk to themselves, their Realtor partner and new client. With our experience we have seen systems honestly fail only hours after our inspector’s initial visit. We have witnessed home owners making repairs while the home inspector is still conducting the home inspection. Finally, there is no guaranteed method to divine the human activities, nature’s impact on the home or the effect of age on systems in any particular home, post inspection. This is true for homes which are vacant as well. To use or trust a report days, weeks or months old in an effort to save a few hundred dollars is inviting calamity, conditions may and often change. Our viewpoints is this; if you are making this investment, want assurance that the property is safe and want us to accept liability for the home in accordance with our scope of work and our service contract. We will complete a top to bottom full home inspection regardless if we have inspected that property previously. We will fulfill our obligations as professionals to you our client. Your investment and family’s safety is too dear for short cuts.
North American Home Services has been providing home inspection services to the greater Sacramento, Roseville and Folsom region for over 10 years. We have completed thousands of inspections on residential and commercial buildings in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Solano counties. Local communities we are often in daily include Roseville, Rocklin, Granite Bay, Folsom and Sacramento. Our home inspectors are highly regarded and qualified. Each is certified through the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors and remains current on all aspects related to providing the best home inspection services.