Research shows that more than 20% of people mistake a home appraisal for a home inspection.
An inspection of your home is different from determining what your home is worth. A crawl space inspection is a specific type of home inspection. And having one completed could save you a lot of money in unexpected future costs.
Whether you’re purchasing or selling a home, or you’re simply interested in ensuring that your house is well-maintained, a crawl space inspection is a good idea. Having this often overlooked area of the home inspected can reveal problems that you were previously unaware of.
Keep reading to find out why a crawl space inspection is necessary.
Who Performs Crawl Space Inspections
Home inspectors are certified and licensed professionals. They do more than shine a light into your crawl space and have a peek. They’re trained on what to look for in a crawl space and even to get under your home to look for potential issues.
When you hire a home inspector to perform a crawl space inspection, they’ll have to be able to enter the crawl space. Ductwork and small spaces may prevent them from inspecting your crawlspace. Typically, they require a space to be 24″ wide and 18″ tall in order to inspect it.
Provided that your space is big enough, it also has to be safe to enter. If your crawl space has exposed nails or electric work, standing water, or smells of mold, it’s possible that the inspector will deem it unsafe for entering. This means you automatically fail the inspection.
If your crawl space is both big and safe enough for the inspector to enter, they’ll do a full assessment of your crawl space. They should also provide you with a comprehensive report of their findings.
What Is Involved in a Crawl Space Inspection
There are a lot of things that can go wrong in a crawl space. An inspector will be looking at the following:
- Termite damage or burrows that could lead to damage
- Damage caused by moisture (damp insulation, condensation, warped materials)
- Mold and mildew (this can be identified on walls, stored items, as well as by smell)
- Plumbing issues (including waste and supply lines)
- Electrical issues and wiring
- Foundation issues (cracks, settling, shifting)
- Floor damage (including the framing and supports)
- Pests, vermin, and other animals
- Adequate and clear ventilation
- Vapur and water barriers
- Sill plates
- Amateur repairs
A good crawl space inspection will identify current problems as well as potential future problems. An inspector should also be able to provide recommendations on who can fix these problems.
Why Do You Need a Crawl Space Inspection?
Having your crawl space inspected should be a regular item on your to-do list. It should be inspected as often and as vigilant as your roof, basements, attic, or gutters. That’s how important it is.
A crawl space inspection is a good idea for any homeowner. It tells you whether your home is safe. It can also reveal potential health risks that you didn’t know about.
If you’re buying or selling a home, a crawl space inspection should be completed before the sale closes. This gives buyers full disclosure of what they’re buying.
Below we’ve listed all the reasons that a crawl space inspection is necessary.
Spot Potential Problems
Most homeowners don’t spend a significant amount of time in their crawl space. Generally, this forgotten space is used for storage if anything at all.
And even if you do go into your crawls space often, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to spot potential problems. For that, you need a trained professional.
A home inspector looks for things that you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise (see the giant list above). They can help identify problems that will become larger issues down the line. This way, you can fix problems before they cost you $1,000’s.
Crawl Space Issues Affect Your Whole House
Problems that originate in your crawl space can lead to problems in the rest of your home.
If you have water or excess moisture in your crawl space, it can cause mold and mildew. This can quickly spread throughout your home and put your health at risk.
Water and moisture in your crawl space may also be causing significant damage to your insulation and your home’s supports. This puts the very structure of your house in jeopardy. Wet wood may also attract termites and other wood-boring insects.
Because the crawl space is typically at the bottom of your home, it’ easy for bugs and other pests to find their way in. If pests and vermin are getting into your home from the crawl space, they have access to the rest of your home.
Beyond small pests, mice, rats, and other animals may make their way into your home through the crawl space. Once inside, they can make their way through the home’s interior and reproduce. They can also cause damage to electrical wiring, plumbing, and insulation.
It’s likely that any plumbing, electrical, and HVAC problems you’re experiencing are a result of something happening in your crawl space. The same can be said for insulation problems.
Get a crawl space inspection before you blame these problems on product quality or your installer.
Saves Buyer and Seller Time
In a crawl space inspection done can save time for both buyers and sellers in a home sale. In fact, the majority of real estate agents will require you to have your home inspected. This helps them determine what the selling price should be because it takes into consideration potential repair costs.
Even if a real estate agent doesn’t insist on an inspection, a buyer might. If a crawl space inspection determines significant repair costs, they may ask to negotiate the sale price or have the seller complete the repairs before the deal is closed.
By having a crawl space inspection performed regularly, you save time during a home sale. You’ll already be aware of any issues and can provide a potential buyer with the report.
When Was Your Last Crawl Space Inspection?
A crawl space inspection shouldn’t be a consideration only for buyers and sellers of homes. Like a basement or attic inspection, it’s something that should be checked regularly. This is especially true considering that so many of your home’s problems can originate in your crawl space.
When was the last time you had a crawl space inspection? Schedule an inspection with us before small problems add up to thousands of dollars in repairs.