Should I Order a Wood Destroying Insect Inspection?

What is a WDI?

Real Estate inspections for termites and other wood-destroying insects are called WDI Inspections or by the State of North Carolina– WDI stands for Wood Destroying Insects.  These inspections are colloquially known as ‘Termite’ Inspections or ‘Pest’ inspections, but these terms can be misleading.  WDIRs, or Wood Destroying Insect Reports, can only be produced by state-licensed Wood Destroying Insect Inspectors.

What Does A NC WDIR report form include?

The state dictates the language of the WDIR form, and it cannot be altered or modified.  The information includes:

  1. Buyer and address information and structures inspected
  2. A description of inaccessible areas.
  3. A description of visible evidence and location of:
    1. Subterranean Termites
    2. Powder Post Beetles
    3. Old House Borers
    4. Other (Carpenter Bees, Carpenter Ants, etc…)
  4. A mark when ‘No visible evidence of infestation from wood destroying insects was observed
  5. A description of conditions conducive to subterranean termites was noted at the property.
  6. The WDI company and license number information and signature

What does a WDIR not include?

  • The state does not require photos and videos, and there aren’t any references or spaces for them in the state form.  The inspector would have to add them as attachments.
  • Everything that is NOT a Wood Destroying Insect.  The reason why the term ‘Pest Inspection’ is misleading is that there are many creatures that most people would call ‘pests’ that are not referenced in this state form, such as:
    • Rodents (mice, rats, squirrels, etc…)
    • Snakes
    • Spiders
    • Ants (that aren’t wood-destroying)
    • Raccoons and other larger creatures that nest in crawl spaces and attics

When should I order a WDI?

Real Estate Transactions

Wood Destroying Insect Reports are primarily intended for buyers of real estate.  Their purpose is to help inform buyers of the condition of the structures.

FHA/VA loans

FHA/VA loans will require a WDIR (Wood Destroying Insect Report) for the main home and all detached buildings.  Buyers of properties will always need to secure WDIRs for the property they purchase when using an FHA/VA loan to finance it.

Wood framed Structures

A Wood Destroying Insect Inspection should be ordered for all buildings with wood framing.

Why is a separate inspection recommended?

Home Inspectors regularly find wood-destroying insects (and other pests) during our home inspection; however, there are many advantages to having a Termite Treatment Company perform a separate inspection.  Termite Companies:

  • Offer Bonds, Warranties, and Service Contract
  • Perform Treatments
  • Provide Estimates
  • Are fully Licensed and Insured
  • Provide the service and experience that only a full-time Termite Company can
  • Can provide a second set of eyes on the property (Home Inspectors assist the Termite Inspector and vice versa)

When can I skip a WDIR?

Generally, wood-framed structures in our area should always be inspected for wood-destroying insects. However, the following considerations may reduce the risk to the buyer, and under certain circumstances, the buyer may consider waiving the WDI inspection.  We leave it to the buyer’s discretion whether they should waive the inspection or not; our official policy is always to recommend a Wood Destroying Insect Inspection for wood-framed buildings in our area:

  • New Construction:
    • New construction buildings are required to be treated for termites in North Carolina.  Buyers of new construction properties should ask the seller for treatment information (type of treatment, date of treatment, treatment company, warranty information, etc…)
    • New construction should be treated. However, errors and omissions do happen during the construction process.  We have seen termite infestations in new construction properties because of missed treatments, incomplete/improper treatments, and sometimes infestations despite treatment.
  • Recently Treated Properties:
    • Buyers of recently treated properties should ask the seller for treatment information (type of treatment, date of treatment, treatment company, warranty information, etc…)
    • Existing homes are often only partially treated and, therefore, vulnerable to an infestation in other areas.  Some treatment methods (bait systems) may leave the home vulnerable despite the control measures.
  • Properties with an active Termite bond, warranty, or service contract:
    • Buyers of properties with an active bond, warranty, or service contract should ask the seller for treatment and service information (type of treatment, date of treatment, treatment company, warranty information, etc…).  Buyers should verify that the bond/warranty/service contract is current and that there have been recent evaluations.
    • We have seen evidence of active infestations even with properties with an active bond, warranty, or service contract.  Infestations can happen despite treatment and regular evaluations.
  • Metal-framed buildings (No wood framing)
    • In our area and Northern climates, nearly all residential structures have wood framing or some wood components.  Metal sheds and office buildings generally are safe from wood-destroying insects unless they have wood-based finishes.
    • Manufactured homes have a metal frame and a plastic belly wrap which helps prevent wood-destroying insect infestation; however, the floor, wall, and attic framing is typically made from wood and is vulnerable to wood-destroying insect damage.
  • Higher Elevations
    • Properties located at higher elevations (4000 feet and higher) tend to experience fewer termite infestations however termite infestations are still possible, as are infestations from other wood-destroying insects such as carpenter bees, carpenter ants, old house borers, powder post beetles, etc…

WNC Home Inspectors and Wood Destroying Insect Inspections

Builder Buddy offers WDI Inspections or ‘Wood Destroying Insect Inspections’ through our licensed strategic partners with our Residential and Commercial Property Inspections (also known as ‘Pest Inspections’ or ‘Termite Inspections’.  We offer Wood Destroying Insect Inspections in Buncombe and surrounding counties.

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