Home Buyers in the Florida Keys: You May Need a Wood-Destroying Organisms Report

If you are buying or selling a residence, you may need a wood destroying organisms report Florida Keys.  Because of the wet and humid climate of the Florida Keys, this report is often required by a mortgage lender. In Florida, these inspections can only be conducted by a specially-trained, state-certified Wood-destroying organism (WDO) inspector, who must carry a card identifying that they are WDO certified. A WDO report is often termed a “Termite Letter” or a “Clearance Letter”.

What’s Covered in the WDO Inspection

The following WDOs are mandated to be listed on the report if evidence for them is found:

  • Live termites or other WDOs
  • Wood-destroying fungi
  • Any evidence of termites, wood-destroying fungi, or other WDOs
  • Any damage caused by WDOs
  • Ant previous treatment of the wooden parts of the structure for WDOs

Interestingly, pests such as carpenter ants and carpenter bees do not have to be reported in Florida.

What Does the WDO Report Tell the Home Buyer

It’s important that the buyer knows what is covered in the report and what is not. If any of the five conditions mentioned above are not found, then a “Clear” report will be issued. This means that no evidence of WDO infestation or damage was observed at the time of the inspection. It does not mean that the parties involved can be absolutely sure that no problem exists, just that it was not detected. 

Key Take Away Points

As you engage in the assessment of wood damage in a prospective property, keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure that you have a card-carrying WDO inspector
  • Don’t rely on the report alone
  • Be present when the inspection is carried out
  • Obtain the documentation regarding the inspection
  • Carry an active WDO protection contract after purchasing the building

Property damage is no fun to deal with, In the case of wooden structures in the Florida Keys, a clear termite report can give you peace of mind.