Home Inspection Vancouver, WA — Crawlspace Inspection
Home inspection Vancouver, WA: Crawlspace inspection — One of the most revealing areas of a home is the crawlspace. Crawlspace inspection can uncover plumbing drain leaks, structural issues, water supply line damage, pest problems, drainage issues, or a surprise out-of-service oil tank. They are dark, wet, full of spiders, and generally unpleasant. That’s why you hire a home inspector for your crawlspace inspection.
Crawlspace inspection — What we inspect:
- Moisture levels — Crawlspaces are commonly more damp than other areas of the house. They should not be saturated with water. When we see excessive moisture in the crawlspace during a crawlspace inspection we look for the obvious sources of moisture, like a leaking supply line or drain, but we also consider the things like the exterior drainage system and the property’s topographic profile. Additionally, we use a moisture meter to determine the moisture levels in wooden structural members and other building materials. High moisture content in wood can create conducive conditions for wood-destroying organisms, like fungi and termites, while also encouraging mold growth.
- Ventilation — Poor ventilation of the crawlspace can exacerbate a moisture problem in the crawlspace. The crawlspace should have an adequate number of foundation vents to allow cross-ventilation and avoid dead air space. All foundation vents should have fine mesh screens attached to help prevent in the intrusion of pests, like mice. Vents should also remain clear year round — make sure all water supply piping is insulated to prevent freezing.
- WDOs — Wood-destroying organisms are a threat in the Vancouver, WA area. That’s why we include a pest and dry rot inspection in every home inspection. In our crawlspace inspection, we inspect for WDOs like termites, carpenter ants, and fungi (wood rot) and the conditions that would help them thrive. We carry a Washington State Department of Agriculture license for structural pest inspection and will provide you with clear pictures and comments of what we find, including termite mud tubes, carpenter ant frass, and any damage caused by wood-destroying organisms. We will also note things that shouldn’t be stored in the crawlspace such as wood, cardboard, and other debris that could attract WDOs.
- Vapor barrier — A vapor barrier is an extremely important and often overlooked part of a crawlspace. Not only do they protect against moisture intrusion, they can also be important in helping to prevent radon — a cancer-causing radioactive gas found in elevated levels in one in four Vancouver, WA homes — from entering the home. This barrier should completely cover the dirt floor of the crawlspace and wrap up the walls underneath the sill plate.
- Structure — This is where a quality crawlspace inspection can pay off. Damaged foundation piers, inadequate support systems, large foundation cracks, and general poor construction can lead to catastrophic problems for the home. We’ll also make notes on the subfloor and its framing. If any damage appears to be structurally significant we’ll refer you to qualified and licensed structural engineers to assess the problem and offer a remedy.
- Insulation — The only way to find out if a home adequate flooring insulation is with a crawlspace inspection. Insulation should unfaced and properly attached to the subfloor. All piping and ducting should also be insulated. Poor or missing insulation in the crawlspace can cause significant energy loss and impact the habitability of the home.
- Oddities — Sometimes strange and hazardous items are stored in crawlspaces. Crawlspaces often act like time capsules because things stored in the can remain undisturbed for years. Sometimes it can be harmless things like toys or pickled vegetables. Other times the items can be hazardous — oil cans, paint, chemicals, old ammunition, and oil tanks are things you want removed from beneath your home.
When you’re buying a home or want an independent evaluation of a potential problem in the crawlspace of your home, call Northbank Home Inspection for accurate, clear, and thorough crawlspace inspection.