Handyman support columns and bases were discovered under a masonry fireplace in the crawl space at a recent home inspection in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. Upside down CMU masonry blocks (holes should face upwards!) and aggressive shimming, together with the lack of a positive connection between the post base and above floor structure, warranted further evaluation and repair by a qualified contractor.
I discovered completely disconnected ducting in the crawl space at a recent home inspection in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. In this particular instance, this ducting was for mechanically ventilating the crawl space area, and had no bearing on the heating system for the home. That said, because it was disconnected, clearly the ventilation system wasn’t functioning as intended or designed and required repair. I frequently discover completely disconnected ducting in crawl space areas for furnaces which significantly compromises the heating efficiency within homes and nicely heats the crawl space areas. Most often, homeowners have no idea because they rarely traverse their crawl space areas.
Standing water was discovered at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Standing water in crawl spaces puts the building at risk of structural settlement and insect damage which is why it’s important to deal with it upon discovery.
Water intrusion and damage were noted at OSB structural wall sheathing in the crawl space at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. I like to say “Water is the enemy” to my clients, because much of what I report as a home inspector in the Pacific Northwest has to do with water damage. Water can lead to structural damage, settling, mold, and insect activity/damage (e.g., carpenter ants, anobiid beetles, termites, moisture ants, rot fungus, etc.). So, if you see water intrusion, deal with it sooner than later because repairs become much more expensive with time.
A non-functional sump pump and standing water conditions were discovered in a crawl space at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. It’s important to monitor crawl space sump pumps to ensure they’re functioning properly as standing water conditions can lead to structural settlement and insect activity/damage. Inquire with contractors about a remote monitoring system to alert you remotely to a non-functional sump pump; this will keep you from having to go into a dirty crawl space!
The crawl space looked great, new vapor barrier installed, nice and clean. However, when I got into the deeper recesses of the crawl space, I noted it was like I was walking on a water bed! 3-4 inches of standing water was under the black plastic vapor barrier in many areas. Standing water and water intrusion in crawl spaces puts the building at risk of water, insect and structural damage and is nothing to be dismissive about. In this case, at this Orcas Island home inspection, I recommended further evaluation by a qualified contractor to make necessary repairs and eliminate water intrusion into the crawl space area.
If you can see dirt and any wood/cellulose debris in your crawl space, you should take action to help prevent elevated moisture conditions that can lead to WDO (wood destroying organism) activity and damage in your crawl space area. Any and all exposed dirt in the crawl space should be covered with a plastic vapor barrier. And debris and wood scrap, food for insects, should be removed or properly stored at least eighteen (18) inches above the ground. These pictures were taken at a recent home inspection in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.
Water intrusion and fungal growth were noted at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. Fungal growth and water intrusion lead to structural deterioration and insect activity/damage. I recommended further evaluation and repair of the underlying cause of water intrusion and then repair and replacement of deteriorated structural elements, as necessary. Water is the enemy! Keep it away and your structure will be happy!
Inspecting a home in Lynden, Washington the other day, I happened upon a HUGE wasp nest just inside the crawl space access hatch. I’ve learned, from experience, that’s it’s very important to make sure the crawl space is safe to enter before diving in. In this case, the nest appeared inactive, but I recommended removal nonetheless. It would be very easy for someone to put their hand right into this huge nest, entering the crawl space, and have a serious problem.
Crude ditching within a crawl space was recently discovered at a home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Crude ditching suggests water intrusion and, if traversed, can collapse rendering the ditching irrelevant. Typically, a ditch is dug, drain rock and perforated drain pipe installed, and then the ditch is topped off with more drain rock and covered with a vapor barrier. This is the proper way to route water intrusion within crawl spaces. In this instance, I recommended further evaluation and repair by a qualified contractor. Continue reading