Timber pest inspection

Pre-purchase timber pest and timber pest Inspections, are carried out in accordance with Australian Standard AS 4349.3-2010 Inspection of buildings Part 3: Timber pest inspections. The purpose of these inspections is to provide advice about the condition of the property concerning timber pest activity.

Termite inspections are carried out in accordance with AS 3660.2-2000 Termite management Part 2: In and around existing buildings and structures.  AS 3660.2-2000 states that termite inspections are not recommended for pre-purchase inspections. 

  • All inspections (whether in accord with AS 4349.3-2010 or AS 3660.2-2000) will be a non-invasive visual inspection and will be limited to those areas and sections of the property to which reasonable access is both available and permitted on the date and time of Inspection.
  • The inspector may use a probe or screwdriver to tap and sound some timbers and may use a sharp knife to carry out some `splinter testing' on structural timbers. Splinter testing will not be carried out where the inspection is being carried out for a client who is a purchaser and not the owner of the property being inspected. The inspector may use a moisture meter to check moisture levels in walls that back onto wet areas such as showers etc. Other than these areas the moisture meter will not be used on other surfaces except where the visual inspection indicates that there may be a need to further test the area.
  • The inspection will not involve any invasive inspection including cutting, breaking apart, dismantling, removing or moving objects including, but not limited to, roofing, wall and ceiling sheeting, ducting, foliage, mouldings, debris, roof insulation, sarking, sisalation, floor or wall coverings, sidings, fixtures, floors, pavers, furnishings, appliances or personal possessions.
  • The inspector can not see or inspect inside walls, between floors, inside skillion roofing, inside the eaves, behind stored goods in cupboards, in other areas that are concealed or obstructed. Insulation in the roof void may conceal the ceiling timbers and make inspection of the area unsafe. The inspector will not dig, gouge, force or perform any other invasive procedures. An invasive inspection will not be performed unless a separate contract is entered into.
  • If the property to be inspected is occupied then you should be aware that furnishings or household items may be concealing evidence of Timber Pests, which may only be revealed when the items are moved or removed. In some case the concealment may be deliberate.
  • If you are the purchaser and not the owner of the property to be inspected then you should obtain a statement from the owner as to any timber pest activity or damage to the property known to them and what, if any, treatments have been carried out to the property. It is important to obtain copies of any paperwork issued and the details of any repairs carried out. Ideally the information obtained should be given to the inspector prior to the inspection being conducted.

Scope of the inspection and report

  • In the case of Pre-purchase Timber Pest Inspections or Timber Pest Inspections in accord with AS 4349.3- 2010 the inspection and resulting report will be confined to reporting on the discovery, or non discovery, of infestation and/or damage caused by subterranean and dampwood termites (white ants), borers of seasoned timber and wood decay fungi (rot), present on the date and time of the Inspection.
  • In the case of all Termite Inspections in accord with AS 3660.2-2000 inspections the Inspection and resulting Report will be confined to reporting on the discovery, or non discovery, of infestation and/or damage caused by subterranean and dampwood termites (white ants) present on the date and time of the Inspection. Borers of seasoned timber will not be reported on. Wood decay fungi (rot) will not be reported on but may be reported as a conducive condition for termite activity.
  • In both cases the Inspection will not cover any other pests and the report will not comment on them. Dry wood termites (Family: Kalotermitidae) and European House Borer (Hylotrupes bujulus Linnaeus)  are excluded from the inspection.
  • The inspection will report any evidence of a termite treatment that happens to be found. Where evidence of a treatment is reported then the you should assume that the treatment was applied as a curative and not as a preventative. 
  • Mildew and non wood decay fungi are commonly known as Mould are not considered a Timber Pest but may be an indicator of poor ventilation or the presence of termites, wood decay or water leaks. Mould and their spores may cause health problems or allergic reactions such as asthma and dermatitis in some people.

Limitations

  • Nothing contained in the report will imply that any inaccessible or partly inaccessible area(s) or section(s) of the property are not, or have not been, infested by termites or timber pests. Accordingly the Report will not guarantee that an infestation and/or damage does not exist in any inaccessible or partly inaccessible areas or sections of the property. Nor can it guarantee that future infestation of Timber Pests will not occur or be found.
  • If the property to be inspected is occupied then you must be aware that furnishings or household items may be concealing evidence of problems, which may only be revealed when the items are moved or removed.

Determining the extent of Damage

The report will not and cannot state the extent of any timber pest damage. If any evidence of Timber Pest activity and/or damage resulting from Timber Pest activity is reported either in the structure(s) or the grounds of the property, then you must assume that there may be some structural or concealed damage within the building(s). Damage may only be found when wall linings, cladding or insulation are removed to reveal previously concealed timber.

An invasive Timber Pest Inspection should be carried out and you should arrange for a qualified person such as a Builder, Engineer, or Architect to carry out a structural inspection and to determine the full extent of the damage and the extent of repairs that may be required.

Safe and reasonable Access

The Standard AS4349.3-2010 provides information concerning safe and reasonable access.  Only areas where reasonable and safe access is available can be inspected. Access will not be available where there are safety concerns, or obstructions, or the space available is less than the following:

  • Roof void - the dimensions of the access hole must be at least 500mm x 400mm, and, reachable by a 3.6M ladder, and, there is at least 600mm x 600mm of space to crawl;
  • Roof exterior - must be accessible by a 3.6M ladder placed at ground level.

Reasonable access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods, nor does it include cutting or making access traps, or moving heavy furniture or stored goods. Safe access is at the inspector's discretion and will take into account conditions existing on the property at the time of the inspection.