One of the key measures that you should undertake on your property or a property piece that you are planning to purchase is timber pest inspection. This assesses the extent of pest infestation in the timber used in your house. There are rules and regulations that should guide the conduct of these inspections. In Australia, the timber pest inspections must be carried out according to the Australian Standard AS 4349.3 1998 which spells out the minimum requirements that must be met when carrying out visual inspections on the timber.

The timber pest inspection is carried out in order to assess whether the timber used has been damaged by the various timber pests in your locality. Various regions in Australia have different kinds of destructive timber pests that you should watch out for. These include the timber borers, subterranean termites, dampwood termites as well as the wood decay fungi.


The Assessment

The timber pest inspections focus on the following objectives:

  • Assessing any evidence of timber pest infestation
  • Assessing the severity of the timber pest damage
  • Determining the susceptibility of your building to timber pest infestation
  • Suggesting the remedial as well as the protective measures that may be required
  • Stating whether further investigations may be required to assess the extent of the damage.


Regular timber pest inspections are generally recommended. The Standards recommend at least an annual timber pest inspection.


Which areas should be inspected?

The pest inspector should be one that is familiar with the locality as well as its impact on the timber pest infestation. The inspections should be carried out in all areas with reasonable access to the person carrying out the inspection. They have no obligation to inspect inaccessible areas.

Choose timber pest inspectors that are licensed, certified and that deploy the latest pest detection equipment and technology such as moisture meters, movement and thermal imaging and tap sounding techniques in detecting as much of the timber infestation as possible. The assessment should cover the areas within the property boundary such as:


  • Structural timber: All the timber used in the structure of the building such as roofing, floors, ceiling, subfloor, stairs and walls.
  • Joinery and Decorative Timber: Assess all the timber used in the door frames, window frames, joinery, doors, windows and skirtings.
  • Timber in ancillary structures such as built-in furniture, built-in cupboards and the false floors.
  • Garden timber structures such as logs, fences, paving blocks, pool surrounds and landscape timbers.  
  • Inspections of timber in attachments and outbuilding such as garages, patios, pergolas, carports and verandahs.
  • Trees and stumps


However, not all timbers on the premises are subject to inspections. Certain exclusions include furnishings, furniture along with the concealed or inaccessible timbers. To ensure that the timber pest inspection meets Australian Standards, you must grant the inspectors full access to your building.