Individuals prepared to buy a home in Alabama must consider many factors before moving to close on a property. One issue that some prospective homebuyers may overlook is a termite infestation, which can cause severe damage to any wooden structures or building materials.

The Alabama Association of Realtors notes that termites reside throughout the state due to the warm, humid weather. While home sellers must disclose termite damage to any potential buyer, those in the market can also protect themselves with a few actions that may reduce the risk of purchasing a home with this troublesome issue.

1. Know what to look for

Although the disclosure of present or past termite damage is something the seller must disclose, those buying a home may want to remain aware of what type of damage to look for themselves, as well as how to spot live termites. Buyers can look for tunnels in mud or drywall. They can also learn to identify swarming termites, which have two sets of wings.

2. Ask for treatment receipts and contracts

If a homeowner does perform due diligence and disclose past issues with termites, then prospective buyers may want to view receipts and contracts created by the extermination company that treated the property. Not all companies will repair issues to building materials after treatment, so it is wise to review any contract from a treatment company before moving ahead with the purchase of a home.

3. Ask about treatment history

Prospective home buyers may want to ask about how many different companies treated a termite issue and whether the problem required more than one visit. The more complete the history, the more confident a buyer may feel.

Wood reports and other inspections may also help potential home buyers understand which issues they may take on if a property has a history of termite damage.