Termite Protection Warranty

Ours is a brand new townhome built 2 years ago. The builder engaged a pest control agency for termite control. We are now renewing the warranty every year (they do not administer anything, but do an inspection each year and we pay for the warranty alone). I heard that its probably not needed for new homes.
Does anyone have insight into if this is required for new homes?
Thanks in advance.
SR.
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newbee wrote:

quality, etc. In Florida, there have been many, many large residential projects with horrible building defects not discovered for 3, 4, or 5 years. One in particular that comes to mind was a large homeowner's assn. where each owner had to come up with eighty-something thousand bucks to repair severe damage from leaky walls and windows. Some owners could not come up with that and pay their mortgages. A condo not far from we had the same sort of problem discovered when it was about 2 years old and the damage not as extensive. It was covered with blue tarps for about a year. Fortunately, the board pres. was an attorney.
Our condo (40 yrs. old) has been tented twice. After the first time, one board treas. forgot to pay the annual fee, which would have covered the second tenting. Our neighbors on both sides have been tented within the past 2-3 years, and the buildings are no more than 10 years.
You need to know the prevalence of termites, the prevalent type in your area and the treatment method, what the contract covers - additional treatment, repair damage, cost of other lodging during treatment, then decide whether it is worth the cost.
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newbee wrote:

lots of variables to consider for a straight answer, but my charges on a couple of recent town homes averaged $900 for the termite work and $80 for the yearly renewals. If you spent the 80 bucks a year for ten years it would be the lesser of money spent for a future termite job. So if your yearly cost is much over $100 a year and a proper treatment was actually done maybe not needed...if it is a cheap renewal price and the low side of work was done just for the builder to get a permit, maybe keep it.
usually for subterranean termites they will show up in a new home (un treated) that has a sprinkler system 4-7 yrs...a home without sprinklers 7-11 years. If the property was properly treated who's to say when they may show up. But unfortunately, the pre treatment side of the pest control business is considered by many the scourge of the industry. Builders will look for and usually get very cheap prices, cheaper than what the cost of the chemical alone would be, especially with large projects such as town homes and apartments.
If you could find out what type of treatment and chemical that was used I probably could give you more of an answer.
Lar
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"Lar" wrote

Yup.
I snipped alot but very good info there. This last one, the main bit. I made that mistake *twice*. Gosh I was dumb. Its not enough to just treat an infestation. In my area, you need the preventive stuff too for the ground termites.
If you want a laugh, here's a goodie for a professional on how we made these mistakes. Might help the new fellow too or someone else avoid our errors.
Infestation #1. We had wood shingles on all the house. Lovely and very distinctive dark wood. Figured we'd never have to paint the house and it wasnt the ubiquitous vinyl siding. Come spring, we find the master bedroom along a window as a huge number of 'flying ants' and if you lift a shingle, wings fall out. Long story cut short, 900$ for termite treatment where they tunneled up from the ground into the wood, 4,000$ to remove all shingles (we had to pull them down but they removed the debris) and vinyl side the house. Did not know about how long the treatment chemicals vary on prevention so used a company that sounded good (wont say who, dont want to be sued for slander).
Infestation #2. About 3 years later, about 50ft away. Place is a rental unit at that time and realtor emails us specs and we select one that sounds middle price and seems to have a warrentee. House across from us has major problem and the little buggers just drifted over to us across about a 30ft distance. Another 1,200$ this time but the chemicals used turn out to last only 6 months although we do not realize this. Company goes out of business so warentee useless. Realtor and renters unaware (it's not like they email you 'hey, we went bankrupt, see ya) so all they knew was to call a number if anything went wrong and nothing obvious did.
Infestation #3. Real close to same spot as number 1. Get back home from Japan and notice crumbling baseboard. Luck out *major* that there is no other significant damage yet. Do the 'Whisky Tango Foxtrot' and find out #1 and #2 were good at 'killing termites' but minimal on prevention. Had to have the whole house treated (exterior and through the slab) then pay it off in installments bundled with the maintenance checks. Costs me far more than if I had just known the details about the chemicals that first infestation and gone the right way then.
Next infestation project not related to termites. Got a lovely spider situation in rhe attic. They crawl in at night in the bathroom through the bathroom ceiling fan and drop into the tub. So much fun. They also come in from the fireplace if not lit every other day or so (getting cold and they are looking for inside for the next month or so) and run across the living room trying to get to a 'safe zone'.
Grin, I'm trying to figure out how to deal with that one without just driving them into the house proper if we 'spider bomb' the attic after temp sealing the vents so the poison stays inside. I dont want to come back to 'carpet critters everywhere' of the 8 legged sort after doing the attic. Might just get it professionally done but still looking up the info on such.
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Cshenk wrote:

If the bathroom is on an outer wall, the spiders may be coming from the wall getting in around where the facets/shower head stems come through the wall. If the flanges are not against the wall tight or not sealed.

If it is more of a wall entry rather than ceiling, and if the outside temperature where you are at is in the 70's you should get some results by treating the perimeter of the house with any of the hose attached insecticides, such as what you would treat a yard for fleas. Treat out from the house 15-20 feet and up the side of the wall of the house. There won't be much of a residual for spiders, insecticides are designed for the habits of insects not spiders, so a re treat in a couple of weeks may be needed. You can also place those sticky boards behind the furniture along the baseboards to help catch roaming spiders.
Lar
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"Lar" wrote

I'm not clear on what 'flanges' may mean in this case but the fixtures are well caulked with no holes. Also though the bathroom is in an exterior wall with window (replaced that window 3 weeks ago due to rental tenant damage), there is a toilet enclosure along the exterior wall and the shower/tub is inside that.
Our treatment so far was to spider insecticide spray that ceiling vent and there have been no more escapees since then. If it helps, we actually saw oine come down that way. It'ss a not properly vented item, that just fan vents to the attic. Not code spec but we can fix that to vent outside once we get around to it. Kinda came that way with the 50YO house and only now did we check that lovely aspect out.

Ceiling but your other info might work on the fireplace issue.
We are pretty sure on the fireplace issue too. After the renters didnt bother to replace the cap, water got in and caused damage. We have repaired all but the internal trap door that leads to the outer ash dump door. That has not been replaced and has a 1/3 inch gap where it warped at one corner due to rust. The fireplace is safe to operate but not 'bug sealed' and we are not about to spray it and breathe burning insecticides....
3 weeks ago the big entrance was the front window, propped up by 2x4's after the renters kicked it out. That has been fixed.
Alot of this is actually seasonal stuff for here. As it gets cold, they always try to get warm. In about 2-4 weeks, they will be gone as far as finding'em (most dead, rest so well hid they are no-see-ums).
If we are right (pretty sure, have seen them climb down from attic egresses) and it's the attic, any advice? We plan to call and get a verbal estimate from Orkin.
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Cshenk wrote:

http://www.randgsupply.com/images/warehouse/plumbing/faucets/36178.jpg
the flange is the piece that hides the hole where the faucet/shower head comes through the wall

established independent in your area. The larger companies will try to get you tied into a yearly contract rather than just take care of your needs.
Lar
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"Abe" wrote

We have a few and were going to try that next. Also found another egress in the bathroom. Lars got us thinking when he described the flanges (Thanks Lars!). It isnt there as those are sealed here with caulk but we did miss along the ceiling at the shower.
The bathroom is pine slab walls so it wasnt obvious there was a gap up there but we just put some water sealing clear acrylic. Cant tell it's there from a ft away.
The real fix of course is to kill the attic infestation then put in some sort of preventive treatment against reinfestation. Lowes helped out (fellow there is quite helpful in that department). Got 'spiderbombs' he recommended (actually cheaper than the ones we were looking at). It's a common problem in our area at this season and the ones he told us were better for attics actually cost a little less.
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Cshenk wrote:

If in "spider bombs" you mean the foggers, there is no difference so just get the cheapest one. The active is probably pyrethrin or permethrin which will be a contact kill and leave no residual behind...that is why you can use them inside the house. Another trait in those chemicals is they can act as a flushing agent. It will kill the spiders,silverfish and wasps on contact that are commonly found in the attics, but it can also push others into the home. If you ever do call a pro what he would probably do..needs to do...is dust the attic with a residual dust and treat the outside perimeter with a formulation known as "micro encapsulated" along with treating the entry ways inside the home with a liquid residual or dust products.
Lar
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"Lar" wrote

Thats what the Lowes fellow said. Worked a charm. We fogged this morning.

Grin, yeah a few attempted escapees but not as many as we had feared.

Havent treated the outside yet but we did that with the inside and 2 different products. Dust stuff in the attic where we could reach and a fine mist spray as far out as we could get, then interior again. We actually did the interior last night and along all windows/doors. We hit the ceiling heat ducts too just in case but there seems no egress inside from the attic there.
If this doesnt work, we will get a professional. I suspect they have better chemicals than we can get at Lowes and can reach farther with their gear than we can just from the attic hatch.
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On Tue, 27 Nov 2007 09:00:03 -0800 (PST), newbee

I doubt there would be a requirement of any sort. I bought a new-construction house in 1992. The lot is heavily wooded on one side and I have seen termites in old logs. But I keep gutters cleaned, keep debris away from the foundation, and do regular inspections around the house and in the basement. The neighbor across the street has a termite contract. They drilled a series of holes all around his foundation to inject termicides. Neither of us had any infestations. I'm sure if you read up on termite inspections, you can do it yourself and save a little money. Termite companies like to use scare tactics to sell their services. In any event, a yearly inspection is a good idea.
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"newbee" wrote

'Required' can have several meanings this time. Your place was probably treated. Several different types of termites apply here. Ground ones sound like wht your area might have as thats the type where they just come out and monitor as needed. Orkin has a spray that lasts up to 15 years as a preventive but if you get an infestation, they pay to fix it once you have the place treated. We just did that on our 50YO house.
Maintianing the warentee is cheap in comparison to an infestation and cleaning one out. Also, check your insurance and household policies. You may find you are required to keep the warentee until you have paid off the house.
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That's the bottom line. I have a program where I pay about $60 a year for a policy that covers annual inspection, application of some indicator wood stakes outside to find termites before they get in the house, and free treatment if termites are found. Seems a reasonable deal compared to the cost of treatment. Of course it all depends on how prevelant termites are in your area, type of construction, etc.

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Yup. I'm paying that a month, but thats a pro-rated cost over 3 years for both the warentee and cleaning an active infestation out (fortunately caught early with minimal damage, none structural). Most of that is cost of treatment. Policy alone after that is 120$ a year in my area but I get a deduction on my homeowners insurance due to using Orkin so my net cost is about the same as yours annually.
Policy cost is also related to how 'active' an area is on termites. Mine is a very active area. If i keep the policy active, I get retreatments as needed at no extra cost (automatically at about the 10 year point) and can transfer the policy 'live' to a new owner if I sell later. I learned quite a bit in that termite line recently as you can see. If I ever get another house, I will simply not buy it if it hasnt got a transferrable warrentee with a very high preference for Orkin.
Our house has had 2 previous infestations and both caught early and killed off, but we didnt know about the product lines so fell for the hype and ended up with a 3rd infestation. Now, we have the solid stuff that lasts for a decade or more and a complete guarentee. The earlier 2 cleanings were 'cheaper' but the products used, turns out last 6 months or so in my area. Live and learn eh?
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