If you want to maintain a healthy home, then you’re going to need to keep a close eye on your crawl space. This surprisingly sensitive part of your home can directly influence a house’s overall health.
When should you schedule a crawl space inspection, and are the professional inspections really worth the investment?
Why Should You Have Your Crawl Space Inspected?
Your crawl space doesn’t contribute much square footage to your home. Why is it so important to have the space inspected?
In short: if you let your crawl space go, you risk opening your home to:
- Insect infestations
- Mold clusters
- Wiring malfunctions
- The presence of asbestos or other unhealthy materials
- Framing problems
- Ventilation problems
- Vapor barrier damage
- Foundation cracks
When Should You Have Your Crawl Space Inspected?
While crawl space inspections are important, there’s no specific point in time when you should have yours conducted. More often than not, the point at which you should have your space inspected depends on where your home is and what the weather is like.
If you live in an area that sees a lot of rain, for example, you’ll want your crawl space inspected with relative frequency. Comparatively, homeowners in areas that don’t see too much rain over the course of a year may be able to have their crawl spaces inspected once every few years.
However, you should never forgo a crawl space inspection entirely. Not only do you want to schedule frequent check-ups, but you’ll want to know who to reach out to if you find yourself dealing with any of the following:
- Warping door frames
- Misted windows
- Unpleasant smells throughout your home
- Higher water or electric bills than usual
- Decreased water pressure throughout your home
- Insects or unwanted animal invaders
The quirks noted here are all signs of crawl space problems and damage. If you let these signs go without checking on your crawl space, your home may begin to lose its market value, and the damage in your crawl space may start to spread.
What Does A Crawl Space Inspection Involve?
Once you’ve committed to a crawl space inspection, what should you expect?
Crawl space inspections typically take between thirty minutes and an hour but could be longer depending on the condition of the area. Most inspectors will break the process down into the following three phases:
- Entry Inspection – Crawl space inspections don’t actually start inside your crawl space. Instead, crawl space inspectors first need to take the state of your entry point into account. All crawl spaces must have an entry point that is at least two feet wide and 18 inches tall. If the entry point is any smaller or is structurally unsound, the inspection cannot proceed without the inspector putting themselves at risk. Homeowners that fail to meet entryway standards will need to modify or otherwise fix their entry points before an inspector can safely continue a crawl space inspection.
- Superficial Inspection – Once a crawl space inspector can safely enter your crawl space, they can begin to better explore it. During the second phase of a crawl space inspection, inspectors will look for any signs that something is obviously wrong with the space. This means identifying mold clusters, water damage, ripped vapor barriers, and so on. If an inspector notices any glaring flaws during this phase of the crawl space inspection, then the homeowner in question will need to discuss potential fixes as soon as possible. Luckily, most crawl space inspectors will be able to provide homeowners in the Charlotte, NC area with a free quote on potential services after an inspection is complete.
- Full Assessment – If an inspector can’t readily find something wrong with your crawl space, then an inspector will conduct a more thorough investigation of the area. This isn’t because the inspector wants to find something wrong with your space. Rather, the third part of the inspection process is designed to be preventative. During this phase, an inspector will be able to point out any weak points in your crawl space and help you determine which, if any, waterproofing or other repair measures will best help you protect your home.
The word “failing” here may cause a lot of homeowners stress. Luckily, failing a crawl space inspection isn’t like failing an exam at school. If you fail any part of your crawl space inspection, you’ll need to discuss what needs to be fixed with the on-site inspector. After you’ve attended to your crawl space’s necessities, the inspector may need to conduct a follow-up review of your crawl space. During this review, he’ll determine whether or not the problem was appropriately attended to and if any other part of your crawl space needs to be repaired.
Luckily, the crawl space contractors and inspectors in Charlotte, NC, have the experience to help you repair and care for your crawl space. If you’re ready to have your space inspected, you can reach out for your first inspection today.