A crawlspace is a shallow and uninhabitable area, usually between the soil and the first floor of the home. . There are positives and negatives associated with crawl spaces. The positive is that everything including structure, plumbing, wiring and ductwork is more accessible. The negative is that by the nature of the design crawl spaces are cultures for mold, mildew and termites. In this article I want to give you an appetizer of things we find in a typical crawl space inspection.
The following general guidelines are required in new residential construction as of the 21st Century:
- Minimum access opening is 18 inches by 24 inches.
- Minimum access opening if mechanical equipment (i.e. if an HVAC system is located in the crawlspace) is 30 inches by 30 inches
- Minimum clearance between the soil and joists is 18 inches and 12 inches between the soil and beams
- Minimum ventilation, every 150 square feet of floor space, requires a one square foot ventilation opening.
Wet Crawlspace Water control and management of the crawlspace is essential for maintaining a safe and livable home. The most common problem associated with wet crawlspaces is moist conditions can lead to wood destroying fungus (WDO) deteriorating exposed framing. In addition, excessive moisture is a conducive condition that can lead to infestation of wood destroying insects, such as termites. In exceptional cases, water penetration into a crawlspace can lead to the undermining of the foundation
These are some of the items we inspect;
- We look at the ductwork
- We also check moisture levels
- We check the electrical wiring
- We check for termites
- We check the wood structure members and supports
There are many more things we look for and find in the crawl and again these are just some of the top things found.