Lake Burley Griffin for Canberra Building Inspections.

Termite And Timber Pest Inspection

My Canberra Building Inspections ACT


Canberra Building & Termite Inspections

The Building Inspection in ACT and Canberra, and New South Wales, often include a Termite and Timber Pest Inspection as part of the inspection package. For more information and to make a booking just to get a Termite and Timber Pest Inspection only, please ring Mark Devries on 0419 249 643. Mark will explain more exactly how, costs etc.

Nature has a way of disposing of all the trees that die. If it did not then we would live in a world that was covered in dead wood hundreds of meters high.  What nature has is termites, borers, fungi and more, to break down dead wood.  And that is good for us, except that we also build our lives and homes inside structure made from dead wood.

Canberra and its surrounding areas are high risk areas for termite infestation. There are many parts of the building that cannot be seen, for a multitude of reasons. That can include having no access, difficult access, furniture in the way, pipes in the way, timber covered by insulation, gyprock, ducts, plant and more. Please be aware of the limitations of such an inspection and the consequential risks. And that especially includes areas never even remotely accessed, such as the eaves.

The Purpose of the Inspection

The Termite and Timber Pest Inspection is to find tell-tale signs of these timber pests.   They leave markers behind that can be found.

We also have instruments which can find them.  They can also be heard, and we can sight them through walls, to a degree.  Plus we can measure their moisture.  But it can be a hard job as houses are just so big. And the sneaky little insects may live a street away, and only come to your house for meal time.

How Termites Work

Termites are more often found outside.  They will often eat and run, eating one select piece of timber and then vanish.

That timber must be reported if found eaten.  So must any timber lying around that they may feast on later.  Our tip is to get all the old timber lying around out from your property before the inspector arrives.

If there are not sufficient inspection openings, please make them, or it goes in the report that access was not sufficient.  We will try to get through where access is less than what is required, but there comes a point where we will not risk meeting a snake under a house. And we will not risk falling through the ceiling. We will also not move furniture, boxes and the like.

How the Inspection Is Done

We takes photographs – many photographs – showing the state of the house when we made the inspection.  The Termite and Timber Pest Inspection is the one that is the trickiest, and the one that inspectors must be the most vigilant about.

Fungal Decay

We also look for decay and timber that is falling apart.  The older oregon timber falls apart and while it was great to work with thirty years ago, it is very much rotted away if left in the weather by now. We report that rot, for it is actually a timber pest.

Termite nest on a tree

Termites nesting in a tree.

Timber with fungi rotting it.

Fungal decay.

In farm areas the inspector must walk a long way from the house to be sure there are no termites near the home.  New South Wales is scattered with termite mounds. So they are there. We will also look to see if the house has been protected, and are the termite caps in place or not.

We will not gouge or intrude into the home or its structure. But if there is a sign that there maybe something there, we will recommend an intrusive inspection.


In summary, we look mainly for the following:


Termites, and these are the ones that are on most buyer’s minds.  They can devalue a property significantly.  Though, really, I have found many buyers who are not that worried as they just remove the timber and treat the area. But some termite damage can also exceed quarter of a million dollars. Having an inspection for such can help reduce the risk, but this is Canberra. And there are gum trees most everywhere. No matter who does the inspection, read what they tell you in their terms and conditions and apply it.

Wood Borer

Wood borers. These are more difficult to find but they are there.  They are not so prevalent as termites and the damage is less.

Fungal Decay

Fungal decay is common in Canberra, especially on the side of the house that faces the weather.  It can be called dry rot, as it can be from freezing water in the winter in the wood. But it dries out later, thereby expanding the timber for more fungus.  Well painted surfaces are more or less protected.

Chemical Delignification

Chemical Delignification is where the timber resin dries out over time and leaves the timber.  It can signal a further timber pest attack.

Other Important Items

Conducive Materials will be reported on when found lying around.

Major safety hazards will also be reported on.  For example, a piece of timber about to fall as it has rotted and should be removed manually.  If something puts people at risk, it will be reported.

We also must find and report nests.  They can be in trees and or underground.  We look around the property, not just in it.


We hope this write up helps.  Press here for a sample download of the report style, without photos: 

Written by Nick Broadhurst, our inspector. For more information on Nick: See Here

Timber lying around is condusive to an attack.

This is conducive material left on the site.

The fungal attack had collapsed the fence.

This fence fell apart from fungal decay.

Call us today for your next Building and Timber Pest Inspection.

We can answer questions and schedule a time if you wish.

All Building and Pest Inspectors are registered here at Access Canberra.

  • 0418-388-911