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Termites Wreck Home Of Jacksonville Doctor

7:29 PM, May 27, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Dr. Walker Whaley built his multimillion dollar home between 1992 and 1993. 

But two years ago, it started falling apart. His problem? Termites. 

"I'll show you where you can look through a hole in the wall,"
said Whaley. 

The damage is everywhere - the living room, the bathroom, the balcony. "We noticed it when we were having some construction done on the other side of the house about two years ago," he said.

Whaley doesn't know the extent of the damage, but his wife has had enough. Recently a structural engineer examined his home and gave him a dismal report. 

"He gets to the door and I said, 'what do you think?' He said, 'toast'. He said, you don't want to be in the house if the wind starts blowing," said Whaley. 

Whaley has a repair bond with his pest control company. The Florida Bureau of Entomology met with Whaley and the company, which agreed to pay for repairs per the contract with Whaley. 

"I'm not sure it can be corrected, I'm not sure it can be fixed," he said. 

One construction company declined to bid on the repairs, and another company estimated it would cost 1.8 million to repair.

Whaley is waiting to see what his pest control company will do, but he wants his experience to be a warning to other homeowners.

"The message is, people need to be aware of who is treating their house and what they're using," said Whaley. 

Attorney Greg Crosslin represents the pest control company. He said he has talked to Whaley and his attorneys, and different builders.

"Florida Pest Control & Chemical Company intends to honor the obligations of its service agreement," said Crosslin in a statement. "As a pest control operator we are not responsible for defective design or defective construction of homes. We welcome the opportunity to resolve the issue."

Termites are swarming right now and the Florida Bureau of Entomology said this is the time to protect your investment. Before you hire a pest control company to inspect and treat your home, find out if it treats subterranean termites or dry wood termites or both.

Also, find out if the service contract include a bond, is it a repair bond or a retreat bond and what are the limitations?

First Coast News

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