Beware of strange things hiding under your house
Q: What weird things have you found hidden in crawl spaces?
A: Just recently I found not one, but two bowling balls partially buried underneath a home. Other notably odd findings are Barbie dolls, baseball card collections, family photo albums and, sadly, myriad dead animals.
In all seriousness, many of the secrets of your home hide in your crawl space. For example, there may be active leaks from tubs, sinks, etc. that are weakening your wooden structural supports through mold, mildew and rot. Or, there could be soil movement and structural instability from prior earthquakes. It’s also not uncommon to find rodent-chewed wires that can wreak havoc on electrical systems.
Inspecting a home has a CSI-like forensics aspect to it, and there is a lot to find on this tight and dirty journey. Abnormalities in the crawl space, roof or attic are clues that lead me to investigate elsewhere – until all of the puzzle pieces come together to reveal the root cause and severity of an issue.
In California’s fast-paced market, buyers may often waive a home inspection to speed up the escrow process if everything looks “good and new.” But my advice is to beware of the hidden issues lurking below.
Scott Denslow is the owner of Safe at Home Inspection Service which serves the entire Bay Area. He is an InterNACHI and ASHI certified inspector who has 45 five-star ratings on Yelp. Send your home inspection questions or topics you want to see covered to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.safeathomellc.com.