Is a Termite Letter Really Necessary?

South Carolina’s warm humid climate is the perfect breeding ground for Formosan subterranean termites. Because of their size and color and the fact they live underground or inside rotting wood, many homeowners aren’t aware they have termites until damage has already occurred.

While a home inspection report provides information on the home’s visible condition from roof to foundation, the CL-100 (or termite letter) includes more than just if a property has termites. In fact, the proper name of the report is the Official South Carolina Wood Infestation Report and includes information concerning termites and other wood destroying insects such as beetles or carpenter ants. The report will also detail if there is evidence of active wood destroying fungi, a common problem in the more humid parts of South Carolina. Chances are if wood destroying fungi is discovered in an Upstate residence, there is a secondary cause of moisture such as a plumbing leak or underground spring. This excess moisture will need to be determined and contained by properly venting the crawlspace, installing a ground moisture barrier or adding dehumidification power vents.

If the inspector discovers active or past termite infestation it will be included in his written report along with any visible water damaged, rotten or decayed wood or drywall. A termite inspection is only done under and around the home’s main floor. Inspectors do not attempt to examine areas not easily accessible including crawlspaces too small or low to enter or behind walls.

The majority of financial institutions will require a clean CL-100 before finalizing a home mortgage. This means all problems discovered during the termite inspection must be corrected prior to closing. Depending on the severity of the damage, it may be necessary to bring in a general contractor or structural engineer.

Carolina RES is here for all your real estate needs. Whether buying or selling, in need of a CL-100 or a home appraisal, call us today at 864.242.1099 or contact us via our online inspection request form.