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Crawl Spaces

Crawl Spaces photos: P 91-P 102, P 209

Some houses will have crawl spaces which are small areas underneath the house that aren't high enough to stand up in. You should ask the owner if there are any crawl spaces before starting your inspection. Ask this because sometimes the entrances to the crawl space areas can be hidden by personal items or wall finishings.

A crawl space is an area that demands attention. There's a higher risk of rot and termite infestation due to these areas being dark and damp.

 You should use a jumpsuit, kneepads, a hardhat, gloves, and a flashlight to enter any crawl space areas. Do not go into any areas that are too narrow for you to safely enter. A crawl space is an area that demands attention. Crawl spaces need attention because there's a higher risk of rot and termite infestation due to these areas being dark and damp most of the time. So don't get lazy and just assume everything is OK in the crawl space. You may end up regretting it if the client calls you up six months later to complain about the termite damage they found in the crawl space. You'll have a hard time defending yourself if you didn't check this area if it was accessible at the time of your inspection.

Crawl spaces need plenty of ventilation to help prevent rot and wood destroying insect infestation. If the crawl space has a dirt floor, you should recommend that the client get an estimate to have the floor covered with a concrete surface. Dirt floors will promote moisture from the soil and are an attraction to wood destroying insects and radon gas. If putting concrete over the dirt floor is too expensive, then a six mil plastic floor cover can be placed over the dirt areas. The plastic cover is used to help eliminate moisture problems in the crawl space. However, the plastic will not work as well as a concrete floor covering to prevent moisture problems.

Check for the condition of the foundation walls, support posts, main girder, floor joists, and sub flooring in the crawl space. Look for the same potential problems that were discussed in lower level section.

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