Home Inspections – Discover Crawl Space Concerns

As a home inspector I enter crawl spaces as part of the whole home inspection. These spaces are rarely clean. It is a good thing I enter these spaces because I locate a lot of issues and concerns in these areas during home inspections.

I admit that I do not like going in to crawl spaces. They are nearly always dark, dirty, dusty and filled with spider webs. Some home inspectors will not actually enter these spaces. They instead will look at it from just the opening and report on what could be seen from there. I have a face mask that filters out the dust and molds that are present to make it healthier for me to enter crawl spaces. I also keep with me a set of overalls that I will put on over top my clothes to help keep me from getting as dirty as I would have gotten without my “dirt suit”. This gives me better ability to enter these places.

With this extra level of protection I have come across many issues under houses. One of the biggest issues I found was at a home only three months after it passed the final county building inspection. All the way in the back of the crawl space someone had cut out a 3 foot sections of the main support beam to make room for some HVAC duct work. The house was already beginning to sink in that area.

I have located piers supporting the house that were less than desirable. Wooden footers that were directly on the soil and beginning to rot. I have found support piers made of 2×4 wood that had no footer and was tilting off to one side. No very supportive. Often poor pier construction will result in the house having sloping floors.

Damaged duct work is another issue observed in crawl spaces. The duct work has been found disconnected and allowing the conditioned air to enter the crawl space costing the home owner extra money in heating and cooling bills. If the ducts are metal and sitting on the ground it will rust badly enough to have holes in it also allowing air to escape on to the crawl space. If the hole in the duct work is in the return air duct this opening or damage will let air from the crawl space enter the home along with the moisture, molds and dust located in the crawl space.

There are of course electrical issues as well that are discovered in these areas. When looking for a home inspection company find one that puts in the effort needed to help ensure your well being.