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What's a WDO Inspection?

Here’s a question I often hear: “What is a WDO Inspection and why do I need a WDO inspection to buy or sell a house?”   What is a WDO Inspection? A Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) inspection informs sellers, prospective buyers and lenders about any termite infestations and damage to the home due to wood pests and wood rot. Why do I need an inspection for wood insects? The soil, humidity and temperatures of Florida combine to make it the perfect environment for termites and wood rot to thrive. The damage they cause is not always visible on the surface. Also, a Lender may require a “Clean WDO” as a condition of a loan. Who does the WDO Inspection? A WDO inspection is conducted by a certified pest control professional, also known as an Exterminator. What does the WDO Inspection report? The inspection includes a check for termites, other wood destroying insects, and wood rot. Also, the WDO inspector typically identifies conditions that could lead to a future termite infestation, including:
  • Firewood and other debris stored against the home.
  • Wood siding in contact with the soil.
  • Landscape grading that does not slope away from the foundation.
  • Mulching materials, landscape timbers and deteriorated wood near the home.
  • Cracks in the foundation that allow termites to enter
  • Leaks in the plumbing that attract pests and can lead to wood rot
What happens after the WDO? Inspection results are reported to the purchaser of the WDO report.  Necessary repairs are made, and the WDO inspector makes a return visit to re-inspect and provide documentation to support the acceptable status of the property. As a Seller, how can I prepare for a WDO Inspection? Sellers should make sure as many areas in the home are accessible as possible. Sellers can also protect the value of their home by investing in a termite treatment before they put their home on the market. This investment far outweighs the cost of damage and extra repair time that homeowners will incur if termites are actually found during a termite inspection. In Florida, a Termite Bond that offers years of protection is considered an asset in selling the home – similar to a security system. As a Buyer, what should I do once I move into the house? Termites and wood rot can eat away at the value of your home.  If your home does not have a Termite Bond, ask a few pest control companies to give you estimates for ongoing protection against termite damage and wood rot.  The cost of termite prevention is far less than the cost of termite treatment.
Andrea Chapman 850.386.2001

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