Swan View Shocker: Pre-Purchase Termite Inspection in Perth Reveals Nightmare Scenario
russell from wa building inspections perth
  • Swan View’s Routine Termite Inspection: A standard pre-purchase termite inspection in Perth’s Swan View suburb uncovers extensive, hidden termite damage.
  • Hidden Risks in Homes: The discovery highlights the critical importance of thorough termite inspections, revealing damage often missed in typical checks.
  • Preventative Measures Essential: The case highlights the necessity for proactive termite treatment and barriers, even in the absence of visible signs of infestation.

In the quiet suburb of Swan View, Perth, a routine building and pest inspection unveiled a shocking revelation. Russell McCarthy, lead inspector from WA Building and Pest Inspections, discovered severe termite damage in a seemingly ordinary home. His findings not only highlight the silent threat lurking in many Australian homes but also emphasise the crucial need for comprehensive pre-purchase termite inspections.

Russell’s experience sheds light on the often underestimated risk of termite infestation, especially in areas like Swan View. “This is the risk that you have with termites here in WA, particularly with the construction style being off the ground,” he notes, underscoring the unique challenges faced in Western Australia.

The Subtle Signs of Termite Presence

In the video, Russell points out the minimal indicators of termite activity, a small but telling sign on a window frame. “There’s only this tiny little bit on the window frame indicating that termites have been here,” he explains. This minor detail, easily overlooked by the untrained eye, was the gateway to discovering extensive damage. Check out our deep-dove into what termite damage looks like.



Hidden Dangers in Construction Styles

Russell points out the difficulty in detecting termites due to construction styles prevalent in WA. “If this was a normal stud-frame home and you couldn’t get underneath this property…this is the problem that we’ve got with subfloors,” he states. Many homes built off the ground, with inaccessible subfloors, present a challenge for thorough inspections. We point this out because most people ordering a pre purchase termite inspection simply are not advised of this by their inspector. Most simply leave the areas unchecked. 



Unseen, Unchecked: The Extent of Termite Damage

The termite inspection revealed termites had not only damaged a structural post but had also infiltrated the wall and roof space. “They’ve absolutely obliterated that post…and then they’ve continued up, and they’ve actually gone up the wall, the inside of this wall, right? And all the way into that frame and into that roof space,” This level of damage, often undetectable in regular inspections, highlights the insidious nature of termite infestations in Perth.



The Risk of Inaccessible Areas

Russell points out the limitations posed by inaccessible areas in a home. “If this was a limestone foundation over here, or there was no access…we would have not seen anything in the wall, and look where in the roof that is.” The inability to access certain areas during an inspection can lead to undetected termite damage, posing a significant risk to the structural integrity of a home.



The Importance of Pre-emptive Measures

Russell underscores the importance of treating a property for termites proactively, regardless of visible damage. “It’s one thing looking for termite infestation and damage, but it’s another to treat the property as if you’ve got termite infestation,” he advises. Preventative measures, such as installing termite barriers, are crucial in safeguarding homes against potential infestations.



Challenges in Definitive Termite Detection

“It’s not just as simple as yes or no. It’s about conducive elements and the type of construction that prevents us from getting access everywhere.” This simple sentence from Russell underscores the nuanced nature of termite inspections and the expertise required to identify potential risks accurately.



Our Final Say: A Call for Vigilance

Russell McCarthy’s alarming discovery in Swan View serves as a stark reminder of the importance of comprehensive termite inspections, especially in areas like Perth. Termite inspections take 2hrs or so and are a non-expensive and fast way to ensure your existing house or house you’re about to buy is safe. His insights stress the need for homeowners and potential buyers to be vigilant, seeking professional inspections that go beyond superficial checks.