6000 sq ft of nasty!

By
Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.
http://actvra.in/VYm

Most inspectors will tell you that they don’t like crawl spaces.  Like Mickey Rourke in Barfly would say (not about crawl spaces, but about cops), “I just feel better when they are not around.”  The problem is that crawl spaces represent a tremendous source of blog fodder.  There are the wood destroying organisms, the structural failures, the plumbing leaks, the uncovered wells & septic tanks, the rodents, the homeless, and the dangling electrical wires.

There is literally no end to the amusement and adrenalin rushes that crawl spaces can provide.

I recently inspected a 6000 square ft crawl space----or more accurately I inspected 1/3 of a 6000 sq ft crawl space.

I was told that the access opening had been carpeted over because, “In 20 years there had never been any issues down there, and we figured it really wasn’t necessary.”  Well allrightythen, I knew rightythen that I was in for a fun time in the crawl space.

After much effort, I was able to get into the crawl space through one of the crawl space vents---even though the opening was very wet.  As soon as I saw how wet the opening at the vent was I was less than optimistic about the overall condition of the crawl space.  The crawl space was divided into three, more-or-less, equal parts with a concrete foundation between them---with one opening at the center of each of the dividing walls.

The 1/3 of the crawl space that I was able to traverse was flooded in many areas but I was able to move around the puddles and see most of the space.  There were wood support posts in standing water with decay/rot present and it was pretty obvious by the high water mark around the foundation and support posts that this crawl space had a long history of flooding.

As I made my way toward the opening in the first dividing wall, it became very clear that this was the end of my inspection of the crawl space.  Visible at the opening, half submerged in water, was the non-functional sump pump.

flooded sump pump 

While I was relieved that I did not have to inspect the other 4000 square feet of crawl space, I found it disappointing for my buyer that there would be 2/3 less information for them.  Someone would need to fix the sump, make better access, and get this space ready for proper inspection.

Hopefully this is the end of the idea that there have not been any issues down there for 20 years.  Lack of access is perhaps the biggest issue of all.

I have a feeling I will be back.

 

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle.

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flooded crawl spaces
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Rainmaker
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Sharon Parisi
Dallas Homes
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty

Just looking at the photo makes my skin crawl.  It is truly amazing that the owners had no idea what was under their home.

May 20, 2013 11:04 PM
Rainmaker
28,696
Angie Johnson
Angie Johnson
RE/MAX Luxury Real Estate

Amazing there weren't visible leaks in the ceiling below this wet mess!  Nice photo.  Can I have permissino to use it so I can show my buyers the importance of a home inspection?  A picture really does say a thousand words:)

May 21, 2013 06:21 AM
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Charles Buell
Seattle Home Inspector
Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

Jan, it makes one wonder why we build with crawl spaces at all

Michelle, I like it!  Or house near "wildlife refuge"

Sharon, I think they know now :)

Ang---nothing below this---this is the bottom :)

May 21, 2013 07:03 AM
Rainmaker
616,060
James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

Not to correct you my friend, but that is clearly an under home swimming pool and a nasty one at that :)

May 25, 2013 05:01 AM
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Charles Buell
Seattle Home Inspector
Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

Jim, I don't like swimming in crawl spaces :)

May 25, 2013 07:46 AM
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My blog is intended to provide information related to home inspections in Seattle, surrounding communities and anyone else interested. Sometimes I will provide information that has nothing to do with home inspections. Enjoy!

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