The crawlspace is one of those places that homeowners don’t enter very often and generally don’t think about. Issues that begin in a crawlspace can affect other parts of the house. With routine crawlspace inspections, you’ll be able to learn about and address problems before they spread to other areas.
What Can Go Wrong in a Crawlspace
Water in a crawlspace can cause significant problems, including damage to wood support structures and insulation. Damaged wood can make your house unstable, and damaged insulation can reduce your home’s energy efficiency, which can cause your utility bills to jump.
Moisture in your crawlspace can cause higher-than-normal levels of humidity in the living areas, as well as a musty odor. If the water problem is due to a plumbing leak, you may notice a sudden spike in your water bills.
A damp crawlspace can also be a breeding ground for mold. That can cause damage to your house and can have serious implications for your family’s health. Inhaling mold spores can aggravate pre-existing conditions, such as allergies and asthma. Mold can also cause respiratory problems in previously healthy individuals.
Pests are another common problem in crawlspaces. If insects or rodents move into your crawlspace, they can cause damage there and make their way into other parts of your house. Termites can cause structural damage throughout your home, and it can be easy to overlook a problem until it becomes serious. Rodents can chew on electrical wires, plastic plumbing fixtures, and insulation.
DIY vs. Professional Crawlspace Inspections
In some cases, you can and should inspect your crawlspace yourself. For example, after a major rainstorm, you should look for flooding or signs of water damage.
Other problems, however, might not be so obvious. If you don’t know what to look for, you might overlook something significant. The issue might get a lot worse before you realize that there is a problem and call in a professional. You can avoid unnecessary headaches and high repair bills by having a crawlspace inspector conduct a thorough check on a regular basis.
A professional will know how to spot subtle signs of a problem that you might miss. An inspector can identify water damage, structural issues, cracks in the foundation, an insect or rodent infestation, and the presence of substances that can be hazardous to your family’s health. If a problem is discovered, the inspector will be able to give you advice on the best way to deal with it.