There are two places within most homes that the homeowner seldom visits… the attic and the crawlspace. Because these two places are seldom visited or inspected, the homeowner is completely unaware of the issues– major real estate deal breakers –that are “hidden” from their view. As the old saying goes “Out of sight, out of mind.”
As a home inspector, I would guess that of the all the deals “I’ve purportedly killed” over the past 31 years, most of them would likely be based on problems that I found beneath the home or inside the attic space. Whenever I’ve found a problem and explained it to the buyer, they naturally became alarmed. When the Realtor told the seller, they became offended, and the next thing (it seemed), everyone was mad at each other. All of this could have been avoided had the homeowner requested a pre-listing home inspection. In a pre-listing home inspection the attic and crawlspace are carefully inspected to ensure that the homeowner is made aware of issues they might not have known existed. Necessary repairs can be made before the home is listed. As a result, when the future home buyer requests a home inspection, there won’t be any “unexpected surprises”.
Crawl space inspections are an important part of annual homeowner maintenance and an extremely important part of pre-listing home inspections and pre-purchase home inspections. If you’ve read the series of articles that we’ve posted on our website, hopefully the one on wood rot hit home, because this is a problem we (inspectors) sometimes find inside crawl spaces. Water leaks that go undetected, water seepage that ponds inside this area from heavy rains or frequent sprinkler system use, or just plain-ole, hot-humid crawl space ventilation-there are many causes of humidity build-up inside the crawl space and the colonization of different types of fungi that voraciously feast on the scrumptious wood floors that support us. In due time, if left undetected, the floors may begin to sag or bounce and the walls/ceilings start to crack. This usually prompts someone to crawl beneath the home where unfortunately, at this stage, the problems are often severe and expensive to correct. This type of problem could naturally be avoided if crawl space inspections were performed more often, at least once per year.
Our crawl space inspections come with a printed report complete with photos and explanations of problems found. Contact us today for a pre-listing home inspection or crawlspace inspection so you don’t get caught with these major real estate deal breakers.