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Home Maintenance Tip: How to Prepare to Inspect Your Crawl Space

Posted on July 11, 2014

Crawl spaces are the areas underneath your living space where many components of your house reside. Examples include plumbing pipes, electrical wiring and heating and air conditioning equipment. The crawl space access door may be on the interior of the house but usually is on the exterior.

So, you’re now convinced of the importance of inspecting your crawl space. Preparation is the key to make this trip underneath your house a beneficial one:

  • Wear old clothes or coveralls suitable for crawling. Even if your crawl space is not so low to the ground, you may have to crawl under air ducts or piping to access all areas.
  • Wear kneepads. You may be moving around on your knees a lot.
  • Use a respirator to prevent breathing dust, insulation fibers or mold spores. These can be purchased at hardware stores or big box home improvement stores.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from splinters and sharp edges.
  • Wear a hat to protect your head in case you bump it on framing or other objects.
  • Carry a good flashlight with you. Even if you have a light fixture near the crawl space entrance, light probably doesn’t reach the far ends of the crawl space.
  • with you. Snap photographs of areas that seem like they may be of concern. You can use these photographs when conferring with repair contractors or to monitor issues over time.

It’s important to be safe while inspecting a crawl space. Here are some guidelines to remember:

  • If there is standing water in the crawl space, do not enter. Electrical wires hanging down in any area where there could be standing water could be very dangerous.
  • Don’t enter your crawl space without telling someone where you are.
  • Take your cell phone in case you need to call for help.
  • Be aware that varmints or snakes may have taken up residence in your crawl space. Don’t get yourself cornered.

After inspecting your crawl space, hopefully, you will find all components in good shape and be relieved. If not, then you’ll know the items you need to repair. If inspecting your crawl space seems too daunting, call in the professionals. A licensed home inspector is trained to inspect crawl spaces and does it every day.


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