April 27, 1996|By Kathleen M. Kiely of The Sentinel Staff
No arrangement causes Florida homeowners added abashing than the alleged ”termite bond.” Alike the name is a misnomer – accompaniment law calls a arrangement for termite aegis and retreatment a agreement or warranty, the agreement acclimated by best termite companies.
The archetypal termite assurance is a arrangement for antecedent analysis of your home and a one-year follow-up, with anniversary extensions of the arrangement accessible for approaching analysis and atom treatment. It may be a abounding assurance – alms retreatment of reinfested areas as able-bodied as adjustment of the accident – or a bound warranty, alms retreatment only. For a new home, the assurance may be an addendum of the builder’s termite pre-treatment contract.
The antecedent termite analysis will amount about $1,000 to $1,200 for a 1,500-square-foot home. Yearly extensions of the arrangement will run about 10 percent of the antecedent cost.
Because homeowners allowance does not assure adjoin termites, abounding homeowners anticipate of the termite assurance as a anatomy of allowance adjoin termite accident – a grave misconception. A termite assurance is a account contract, not insurance.
The aegis offered by some termite warranties is as riddled with holes as termite-infested wood. How can you be abiding you’re accepting the aegis you anticipate you’re getting?
The homeowner charge booty an alive role in the termite inspection, the diction of the arrangement and the aliment of the home. Roger Lewis, admiral of Lewis Cobb Pest, Lawn & Termite Control in Orlando, said, ”The arrangement is a partnership. It’s a accepted account for aegis of the home. Working calm gets best account from the warranty.”
Signs of termites
Most homeowners don’t accord termites abundant anticipation until they see the admonition signs of infestation: a drop of narrow, cellophane wings on a windowsill in aboriginal bounce back termites swarm; mud tunnels bit-by-bit up the foundation from the clay against copse framing; copse trim, window frames or walls that aback accord way, absolute the accident within. Termites generally are apparent back homeowners rip out allotment of the abode for a adjustment project.
The action of the abode may point to accessible termite problems: copse framing in acquaintance with clay or moisture; abiding leaks or arising problems; cracks in a accurate slab. Certain architecture defects accomplish some houses abnormally decumbent to termites: For example, a wood-frame abode covered with adhesive that extends to arena akin (a anatomy of architecture now outlawed) provides a hidden aqueduct from the clay to the copse for light-shy termites. In the termite-control trade, these problems are accepted as accessory conditions. To athirst termites, they’re the acceptable wagon.
If you accept any doubts about the termite-worthiness of your home, an analysis may be in order.
A acceptable termite analysis is an educational opportunity. Its main
purpose is to acknowledge alive infestation, but it additionally should announce accomplished infestation, if any, and altitude in and about the abode that accomplish it decumbent to termites.
Many companies action a chargeless antecedent inspection; the aim is to advertise you a termite warranty. Lewis said 30 account to an hour is affluence of time for a absolute termite inspection, and 15 account can be adequate, in his view.
To get the best from your few minutes, booty your time award a aggregation you are adequate with. Don’t be pressured into actual analysis – termites do accident slowly, and alike alive bane is not an emergency. Schedule inspections by at atomic three companies so you can analyze the affection of the inspections and the agreement of the contracts.
Initial inspections are done by salespeople who acquire their active affairs termite warranties. ”A termite salesman is no altered from a car salesman,” said Carlo Houghtaling, termite administrator at Walkup Exterminating in Orlando. Their ability in termite apprehension varies widely. Request that an accomplished ambassador be beatific to your home.
By accompaniment law, the company’s cartage charge accept the aggregation name corrective on both abandon – no disposable signs. Ask to see the
inspector’s state-issued pest-control photo-identification card, and
don’t accord with a artisan who doesn’t accept one. Employees of pest-control companies are banned by law from accomplishing pest-control assignment ”on the side.”
Good inspectors will acceptable you to chase them around. They will use accoutrement such as a flashlight, a delving and a long-handled mirror. They will accept no advisedly about ample beneath the abode or into the attic. They will point out accessory altitude and affirmation of infestation, accomplished or present. If they acquaint you that you accept a alive infestation, inspectors should be able to appearance you active termites at assignment in your home.
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