Animals In The Crawl Space

Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Recently I did an inspection where the crawl space access had no cover. When that is the case, every time, the crawl space becomes a victim to vandalism. The vandalism, in many cases, exceeds that of rodent pests. Think bigger animals. When you get raccoons, opossums, skunks, cats and dogs down there -- who knows what else -- you will end up with mucked up insulation and heat ducts. Count on it!


Thanks for stopping by,

Steven L. Smith


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Todd Clark
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494
Keller Williams Realty

With the colder winters I've been seeing more and more signs of this lately.

April 01, 2010 11:54 PM
David Zablatsky
Real Estate - Needham, MA
Key Advantage Realty



Thank you for posting and sharing with us much appreciated!


April 01, 2010 11:59 PM
Gary Swanson
RE/MAX Ideal Brokers, Inc.

Steven, I'd sure hate to end up with a skunk in the crawlspace, you'd be reminded of him for years to come.

April 02, 2010 12:09 AM
David North
for a rewarding real estate experience
Coldwell Banker Bain

Ouch.  This looks too much like the crawl space in a house I sold last year.  Thanks for the reminder!

April 02, 2010 12:19 AM
Diane Williams

Not a good thing, thanks for the reminder to make sure we do not have such easy access under our homes.

April 02, 2010 12:36 AM
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

It is amazing how much damage animals can create.

April 02, 2010 12:37 AM
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Advantage Plus

My mother once had a wood chuck slide down the duct to the clothes dryer in the basement.  I have no idea how she got it out.

A few years ago a client had a an old furnace certified before closing.  They didn't have to use it for several months, but when heating season started there were problems.  It just wasn't working.  I called the company for them and asked for a tech to come out.  He did, said that the unit was old and that they would have to buy a new one for $3000.  I went a little crazy and called the president of the company to explain we had just had had it certified, and this was not ok.   He sent another tech out to do a thorough inspection. 

What the first tech missed was that there was a bird carcass lodged in the heat chamber that blocked the gas line.  It had probably come in from the cold and got trapped.  At least they didn't have to buy a new furnace.

April 02, 2010 12:42 AM
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

The joys of being in this field, realtor or inspector.

April 02, 2010 01:05 AM
Kevin Dunlap
Trident Investments Group

My father in Pensacola use to get gophers and cats under his home.  Even if he tried to block them out they stiill got under there and did damage to the underside of the home.  This may sound bad but maybe there should be some rat poison installed into the insulation.  Then when a smell arises it is time to go under and pull out the poor rodent.

April 02, 2010 02:44 AM
Michael Thornton
Home Inspector - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.0297
Complete Home Inspections, Inc.

Critters just love to tear up insulation to get to the warmth of the ductwork. I have seen them tear flex duct to shreds. Good info...

April 02, 2010 03:36 AM
Charles Buell
Seattle Home Inspector
Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

Steve, looks like Nutsy beat you to that crawl space.

April 02, 2010 10:59 AM
Harold Miller
Everett Home Inspector
Miller Home Inspection

Ugh...I always cringe when I report evidence of rodents in the crawl space to folks, and their answer is "Hey we got a cat, we will just send them down there"....... Now rats do cause alot of damage, but cats love to shred the heat ducts and tear down the sub floor insulation for bedding. Oh ya, they tend to urinate and deficate there too. Of course the carts are so well fed, they just let the rats keep on infesting the space.

Rats and cats = partners in crime.

April 02, 2010 12:54 PM
Leslie Prest
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ

In my area we get javelinas- and they can get MEAN.

April 02, 2010 12:56 PM
Barbara S. Duncan
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR
RE/MAX Advantage

White checking on a foreclosure yesterday I found a peaceful cat resting on the back steps.  Upon my approach the cat went under the house through a small hole near the back door.  Now I know what to expect underneath.  Right?

April 02, 2010 09:08 PM
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Go Barbara go!  But take a light with you.

Steve, once I dropped into a crawl space and turned on my light and exposed the face of a homeless guy living in the crawl!  I woke him up!  He screamed, I screamed - it was a moment.

I aged a couple of months in that crawl space...

April 03, 2010 07:03 AM
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Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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