I am not a termite inspector. There may be some, but personally I don't know any home inspectors in Virginia who are. The home inspection and termite inspections are usually done at different times in Virginia, by two different companies.
If I see evidence of termites I mention it in the report. But if I was to see a 300 pound termite, and said so, it would be poo-pooed as "well, he is just the home inspector."
Outside a house recently I noticed this on the front porch, directly under a window. It is rotting wood siding and sawdust coming from under and through that siding. This can be a termite indicator.
We had not been indoors yet. I said we would check the floor of the room just inside this photo.
There were other things outdoors that would encourage termites to this house - gutters that didn't discharge properly, improper flashing admitting water down walls, rotting this and that.
This house was a termite invitation card.
When we got inside we were surprised to see this in the living room:
That is the window under which we saw the above sawdust.
That is too cute for words.
You should know, when home inspectors see furniture in spots it is not typically found, they wonder.
I wondered about this one.
I said, "Uh, oh, are we trying to hide something?"
The Realtor giggled.
I asked, "What's so funny?"
"Well, the seller has put into the contract that they will only be responsible for $200 of any termite damage found."
Well, that's interesting...
So I moved the mattress. And heah 'tis:
This was hidden under the mattress.
And it's not money.
In front of the client and Realtor, I very gingerly stepped on the flooring. I could have gone through to the cellar! All along that wall!
You can even see a previous repair to the left. This is both a previous and ongoing problem!
And it was "hidden" under a mattress.
Going into the cellar we saw the what was below, with substantial damage to floor joists, the sill plate over the foundation wall, and the underside of the flooring in general.
This is quite a problem!
Looking further, into the dining room to the right of these photos, there were extensive repairs to the flooring, under pinning, support joists and sill plate, and extra columns. Extensive repairs! And years ago.
THAT is why they would only take responsibility for $200 of any termite issue found. That would not even pay for an engineer to come by and smell the house from the outside!
My recommendation: when you see furniture out of place, or things where they usually are not, send your antenna up and question it! And don't think people won't try to hide things! I see that all the time...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560