Raleigh, NC, is home to as many crawl spaces as it is basements. Because crawl spaces are often found in older homes, though, it may be more difficult for you to know when one is leaking and when one’s just showing its age.
This is where crawl space inspectors come into play. An experienced inspector will be able to tell you when your crawl space needs waterproofing. Is it worth it, though, to commit to a crawl space inspection?
Investing in a Crawl Space Inspection: Why Bother?
If you’re a long-time resident of Raleigh, NC, you may find yourself wondering: as a homeowner, do you even need a crawl space inspection if you’re not storing anything? And even if you do, couldn’t you handle the inspection yourself if you had a checklist on hand?
The short answer is no. Licensed crawl space repair contractors have to get approval from the state to work in the conditions that they do. Their certifications note that they’re able to detect problems with your crawl space that the untrained eye might miss. If you try to do their work for them, you may end up overlooking a substantial problem and costing yourself more money in repairs over the next few years.
If it’s the cost you’re worried about, though, don’t let it get to you. Most contractors in Raleigh, NC, will perform a crawl space inspection for free. After the inspection, your inspector will note any problems they found with your crawl space and provide you with a cost quote. It’ll be up to you, after that point, to choose whether or not you want to have your crawl space repaired.
Breaking An Inspection Down
Say, then, that you schedule a crawl space inspection. What do these inspections typically look like, and what is your inspector looking for?
Crawl space inspections can be broken down into three phases: entry, superficial observations, and detailed observations.
The entry process is just what it sounds like – your inspector will look over the entry to your crawl space and make sure they can easily get inside. Your crawl space’s entry point needs to be, at a minimum, 2′ x 18″. If it’s any smaller, you’ll fail your crawl space inspection immediately and have to pay to widen your crawl space’s entrance.
If an inspector is able to get into your crawl space, you’ll move onto the second part of the inspection. The general inspection involves a crawl space inspector looking over your entry point and the body of your space to see if any nails are loose, any electrical wires are hanging out, or if you have standing water making your space unusable. Should any of these problems arise, you’ll fail your inspection.
Finally, should an inspector not notice any of the aforementioned problems, you’ll move on to the detailed inspection. During this process, an inspector will keep an eye out for:
- Insect/pest infestations
- Mold clusters
- Wiring malfunctions
- Foundation cracks
- The presence of asbestos or other unhealthy materials
- Framing problems
- Previously installed vapor barriers
As long as your crawl space is termite-free and otherwise clean, you’ll pass your inspection with flying colors. If the inspector does find something off in your space, they’ll provide you with a quote for their repair service. You won’t have to commit to repairs at the moment, but they’ll be worth addressing quickly.
Inspections and Vapor Barriers
Do you need to have a crawl space inspection, though, if you’ve already had a vapor barrier installed in your home? Yes. Vapor barriers are strong, permanent encapsulation and waterproofing solutions for your crawl space, but they can start to show their age with time. Inspectors who come into your home will be able to tell you more about the status of your vapor barrier and recommend replacements when the time comes.
Don’t let your crawl space repairs get away from you. You can schedule a free inspection with a local Raleigh, NC, inspector to keep your space in tip-top shape.