(408) 298-3930

Serving the Santa Clara
County Area Since 1973

For Realtors

The Inspectors, Inc. provides Real Estate Transfer Termite Inspections and Reports. We understand the timelines involved and will work with you to protect your Buyers or Sellers. We’re here to help!

What to Expect on an Inspection

A Termite inspection, more properly referred to as a Wood Destroying Pest and Organism inspection report, entails a thorough inspection of the complete exterior and interior of the structure for wood destroying pests and organisms. The inspector will need access to the entire exterior, including the exterior roof structure, i.e.: rafters, sheathing, fascia, etc. Our inspection will not necessarily detect or ensure the water tight integrity of the roof covering (please see note on second page of sample report). Any assurances desired regarding the water tight integrity of the roof covering should be obtained from a state licensed roofing contractor.

The Termite inspector will need access to all rooms inside, including but not limited to bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, and garages.

The inspector will be looking for evidence of Termites, Beetles, excessive moisture condition (i.e., plumbing leaks, etc.) and other adverse conditions, and damage as a result of said conditions.

The inspection will include the substructure area (if there is one) and attic, therefore the access covers to these areas should be exposed by the homeowner prior to inspection.

Upon completion of the inspection, the inspector will go over all findings and recommendations with the homeowner or agent if desired.

A written report is issued and usually available within one to two working days.

Types of Inspections

A) Original Report: An original report is a complete inspection of the entire structure and all attached structures. This type of report is commonly used when inspecting detached homes.

B) Limited Report: A limited report is used when only a specific portion or portions of the structure has been requested to be inspected. Common examples of this type of inspection would be condominiums or townhouses and when we are requested to exclude an attached structure such as a deck or patio cover.

C) Supplemental Report: A supplemental report is used when in the process of repairs, additional damage is found or after a further inspection area has been opened to allow inspection. A supplemental report is not a separate report, but a continuation of the original or limited report. A supplemental report is similar in its usage to that of an addendum on a real estate contract.

D) Reinspection Report: A reinspection is performed when work recommended on the original, limited, or supplemental reports has been performed by persons, or firms other than the Termite company. There is always an additional charge for reinspection of work performed by others. An updated report is required by the State of California when work has been performed by others and when the original report is four months old or older.


A) Section 1: Items where there is evidence of active infestation, infection or conditions that have resulted in or from infestation or infection.

B) Section 2: Items are conditions deemed likely to lead to infestation or infection, but where no visible evidence of such was found.

C) Further inspection areas: These terms defined as recommendations to inspect areas(s) which during the original inspection did not allow the inspector access to complete his inspection and cannot be defined as Section I or Section II. An example of this would be storage in a garage, against the garage walls or tiles that need to be removed to see if fungus is growing behind them.


A) Subterranean Termites: These types of Termites are a ground dwelling species. Subterranean Termites access the wood via mud shelter tubes. The only treatment for this type of termite currently available is a localized chemical treatment of the infested soil.

B) Drywood Termites: Drywood Termites build their colonies inside the wood that they are infesting. Unlike Subterraneans, Drywoods do not have to maintain contact with the soil. There are several recognized methods of treatment for Drywood Termites, such as fumigation, localized chemical treatments, and several new alternative methods, such as Thermo-kill (heat treatment).

C) Fungus and Dryrot: Fungus, for the purpose of Structural Pest control, involves only wood decaying fungus. Wood that has been damaged by fungus must be removed and the excessive moisture condition which caused the fungus must be corrected. Dryrot is frequently misused as a common term for fungus. Dryrot is actually a result of long term infection by wood decaying fungus.

D) Beetles: For our purposes these are only the wood destroying beetles (i.e.: True Powder Post, False Powder Post, the most common, and some species of bores). Common treatments for beetles are similar to that of the Drywood Termites mentioned above.

E) Carpenter Ants: Carpenter Ants are physically the largest ant in California. Carpenter Ants do not ingest the wood they are infesting, rather they excavate galleries out of the wood for their nests. These galleries sometimes weaken the wood members to the point of structural failure. Treatments of these pests is similar to that of Drywood Termites but may also include adjacent soil treatment.

F) Dampwood Termites: These termites are physically the largest type of termites native to California. Dampwood Termites, unlike Subterraneans or Drywoods, must have a continuous moisture source in order to sustain the colony. Frequently, control of a Dampwood Termite infestation can be achieved through elimination of the moisture source; however, sometimes fumigation may also be necessary.

G) Earth to Wood Contacts: This exists where untreated wood members are in direct contact with the soil. This is conducive to both termite infestations and fungus infections.

H) Faulty Grade Levels: This is defined as when the exterior soil grade is even with or above the concrete foundation of a structure. This condition frequently leads to concealed infestations of Subterranean Termites or fungus infection.

I) Cellulose Debris: This is any type of wood product, or by-product, such as construction wood debris, cardboard, paper, etc., on the subarea soil surface. The Structural Pest Control Board says that all Cellulose debris of a size rakeable or larger is conducive to infestation or infection and must be removed.

J) Excessive Moisture Condition: Any condition that has or can allow moisture to come into contact with wood members of the structure (i.e.: plumbing leaks, too much water in the subarea soil, inadequate ventilation, etc.)

K) Shower Leaks: This is defined by the Structural Pest Control Board as a mortar pan stall shower that has been water tested in the prescribed manner and leakage through the waterproof membrane is evident below the shower. This condition could be be listed as a Section One or a Section Two condition depending on whether or not fungus damage is evident as a result of the leak.


A certification states that a property is free of evidence of active infestations or infections. Certification must be issued by the Termite company, after completion of all Section One recommendations of an original report. Certification is now limited to the visible and accessible areas of the structure. Certifications could be issued on an original or reinspection report and on a Notice of Completion issued by the Termite company. It is not necessary to have a Section Two or further inspection items performed in order to receive certification.

Requesting a Second Inspection Report- What Could This Mean?

Each termite inspector is different. Different inspectors concentrate their inspection on different areas, although inspectors follow the same general guidelines.

You should be aware that if you request a second opinion on an inspection report, it is possible that the new inspector might find things that the original inspector did not see. This can sometimes cause problems for you and your clients in the transaction. Sometimes it is a good idea to get a second opinion on a report; however, you need to be aware of the consequences and your requirement to disclose all reports, including the first report to all parties involved in the transaction.

Remember that all termite reports are matters of public record and are therefore available to anyone requesting a copy and paying the search fee for said repairs. Failure to disclose knowledge of a previous report could have legal repercussions.

Re-inspections — What a Licensed Contractor Can/Can’t Do

A licensed contractor can remove and replace damaged wood members infected or infested, after they have been identified by a state licensed Structural Pest Control Inspector. A licensed contractor can apply fungicide only to new wood members. A licensed contractor cannot apply termiticides or fungicides to existing wood members.

Work Authorizations — Notices of Completion and Non-Completion

A work authorization is the contract page of a termite report, issued by companies which are regularly in the business of performing repairs. The cost for repairs recommended in the body of the report should be itemized on this page.

Authorized Real Estate Agents may sign the work authorization on behalf of their clients, provided that they have legal authority to act as their clients agent in the Real Estate transaction. Be sure that you read the contract carefully. If the transaction does not go through your clients will be held liable for the amount of the repairs performed to the property.

According to California's Mechanics Lien laws, your clients have 90 days from the date of completion of work to either close escrow and release funds or make arrangements for payment of outstanding balances. If restitution is not made within 90 days, there is a good probability that a Mechanics Lien will be filed against the subject property. If payment is not received within 90 days of the filing of the lien, foreclosure procedures could be initiated against the property. The Mechanics Lien regulations outlined herein apply to any type of repair contract signed by you or your clients, whether it is a general contractor or a termite company.

A notice of work completed and not completed, commonly referred to as a notice of completion is filed by the termite company upon completion of all authorized repairs and/or treatments. A notice of completion is not an inspection report and does not necessarily contain a certification.