What Exactly is a WDO Inspection?
DEFINITION OF A WOOD DESTROYING ORGANISM
A wood-destroying organism (WDO) means an arthropod or plant life which damages and can reinfest seasoned wood in a structure. Florida homeowners are subject to damage by several types of wood destroying insects and organisms.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recognizes the following organisms as “wood destroying”:
Eastern, Asian and Formosan subterranean termites
West Indian Drywood termite
Powderpost beetles (true and false)
Old House Borer
Brown rot, white rot and poria fungi- classified as Wood Decaying Fungi
When obtaining a mortgage or a mortgage guarantee to finance the purchase of a home, You most likely will be required to obtain a WDO inspection by the bank, the mortgage company, or the guarantor (FHA, VA, HUD, etc.).
The Importance of Getting a Good WDO Inspection:
A proper termite and WDO inspection consists of several steps, which may not necessarily occur in this order:
An inspection of the exterior of the home, looking for signs of termite activity (such as termite shelter tubes), as well as conditions conducive to termite and other WDO infestation (such as wood that is too close to the ground, dead tree stumps by the house, improper grading, leaky gutters or downspouts, or tree branches overhanging or touching the home). The inspector will also look for evidence of infestation by other wood-destroying insects.
An inspection of the interior of the home, with special emphasis on the basement, garage, door and window frames, and other areas that are particularly prone to WDO infestation. This part of the inspection will be both visual and physical, and typically involves visually inspecting, tapping, probing, and sounding susceptible wood. The inspector will also be looking for live termites or other insects, dead termite “swarmers”, other evidence of infestation (tubing, frass, signs of prior treatments, etc.), damaged wood, and conditions conducive to infestation (such as excessive moisture levels).
A detailed written summary of the inspection results. This includes a standardized inspection form for the state of Florida was developed by the Florida Department of Agricultural Services (FDACS), and is referred to as the WDO Report or FDACS 13645 Report
When evidence of a past or present WDO infestation, damage due to an infestation, or conditions conducive to infestation are found, the inspector will note the areas, conditions, findings with photos, as well as if treatment is recommended.