Buying a new home is exciting. Even so, there may be problems in pre-built homes that you don’t anticipate. Take, for example, the crawl space. Many homeowners neglect their crawl spaces, and the health of their homes suffer for it.
Should you invest in a crawl space inspection?
The Benefits of a Crawl Space Inspection
Your crawl space has a greater impact on the overall health of your home than you may think. If you let the care and keeping of your crawl space fall to the wayside, then you may find yourself dealing with moisture-based damage throughout the rest of your house.
Some of the most common types of crawl space-related problems and damage include:
- Insect infestations
- Excessive moisture
- Mold growth
- Foundation cracks
- Leftover asbestos or hazardous materials
- Bowing framework
- Failing vapor barriers
- Wiring malfunctions
When Should You Schedule Your Crawl Space Inspection?
While you should always have your crawl space inspected by a professional, there’s not a specific date by which you should have it done. Instead, make sure to keep an eye on your crawl space as much as possible. If you live in an area that sees a significant amount of rain over the course of the year, you may need your crawl space inspected sooner rather than later.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for signs of water damage throughout your crawl space and the rest of your home. Some examples of obvious damage include:
- 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
Note that all of these symptoms are also indicative of foundation damage. You’ll want to call in a professional to determine whether your crawl space or another part of your home is causing the damage. When in doubt, try to call a crawl space and foundation inspector within the first three months of owning a new home.
What Do Crawl Space Inspectors Do?
Crawl space inspections aren’t as mysterious as they may initially seem. When you call an inspector out to your home, you’ll be able to witness the process for yourself. Most contractors break the inspection down into three separate phases. Your crawl space will be graded during each of these phases, all of which involve the following:
- Early Inspections – Your crawl space inspection will begin at your crawl space’s entrance. The entry point to your crawl space needs to meet legal specifications. All crawl spaces need to have entry points that are at least two feet wide and 18 inches high. If an inspector isn’t able to enter your crawl space safely, or if there are any obvious signs of damage compromising your crawl space’s entry point, your crawl space will immediately fail its inspection. You’ll need to make sure your entrance meets proper specifications before inspectors can take a closer look at the rest of your space.
- Superficial Inspections – If inspectors are able to safely enter your crawl space, the next stage of your inspection can begin. The superficial investigation phase allows an inspector to take a broad look around your crawl space to determine if anything is immediately wrong. This means identifying mold clusters, structural damage, and so on. If your crawl space fails this part of your inspection, you’ll need to talk to your inspector about potential fixes before moving on to the final stage of the inspection.
- Full Inspections – If your crawl space has passed so far, inspectors will be able to move on to the rest of the inspection. During this third part of the inspection, inspectors will be able to look over your crawl space for signs of potential damage. If they’re able to identify any weak points, inspectors can recommend waterproofing measures and other solutions that may protect your home in the long run.
If you fail a crawl space inspection, it’s not quite like failing a quiz. Inspectors always want to make sure your home is as safe as possible. At each point of your inspection, professionals will be able to offer you potential solutions for anything wrong with your crawl space. They’ll also be able to provide you with a free quote on potential services.
Ready to start working with the professionals? You can reach out to one of the contractors working in the Kansas City, MO, area.