Home Improvement: What Home Inspectors Look for in a Home’s Foundation
Every year, there are over 4 million home inspections done. Home inspections are often part of the home buying process. Professional home inspectors tour the home and check for safety and structural problems the house may have.
A home inspection will cover everything from the roof and wiring to the foundation and crawlspaces. A good home inspector will identify potential problems with the home that is being sold. Many homeowners and most real estate agents consider getting a home inspection to be vital.
A professional home inspector is a licensed inspector that tours a home looking for any problems. They then compile these findings into a report. It’s not a test that a house passes or fails; instead, it’s a way to identify problems that will need to be dealt with before or after the sale of the house.
One of the key areas that an inspector will look at is the foundation of a home. The foundation and any crawl spaces attached to it will get inspected. They’ll look for several key things in the crawlspaces and foundations of a home.
In the United States, 15% of homes have crawl spaces. This means that almost two out of every ten houses will have a crawl space installed. They have advantages and disadvantages compared to slab or basement foundations.
If you have a crawl space in your home, you will need to consider a few things before getting your home inspected. Home inspectors will get into the crawl space and check for a variety of issues that may signal more significant problems with the house.
1. Excessive Moisture
If your crawl space is extremely wet or has standing water, there’s a good chance the house will have significant problems. If a crawl space is not protected correctly, the water that is trapped inside will not be able to escape.
Standing water is the worst, as it can cause damage to the structure of your home. If your crawl space starts to rot, that represents a very significant threat to the integrity of your floor. Damage to the floor could manifest as uneven floors or a slope in the rooms above the crawl space.
2. Debris and Ventilation
A home inspector is going to want to make sure that the crawl space is well ventilated. Ventilation is important because it helps to evaporate the water that naturally collects in a crawlspace. Debris in a crawl space can be dangerous. Flammable debris can cause fires to start underneath the house.
Unusual odors and mustiness can be a sign of greater issues. If your crawl space has an unusual odor coming from it, you should get it looked at. Proper ventilation can help prevent everything from mold to rot. It can also lower the moisture level and deter some pests.
3. Mold Is a Problem
Home inspectors don’t like to see mold developing in a crawl space. The potential hassle of mold removal will chase away potential buyers for your home. Mold can lower air quality and can even represent a threat to human health. Any health risk will need to be dealt with.
4. Past Activity Such as Renovations
Homeowners don’t go into crawl spaces often. This is because there is no need for you to go into your crawl space most of the time. A crawl space can be a time capsule into the history of your home. Past renovations and home improvement projects will often leave traces in the crawl space.
The crawl space will also reveal the age of many vital parts of the home. Pipes and wires may be visible in your crawl space, and a professional home inspector will be able to tell when these things were installed and their relative condition.
5. Animal Habitation
While crawl spaces aren’t designed for humans to use them frequently, they are the perfect place for animals. They are dark, often have moisture that insects and animals like and are between the ground and the house.
Stray animals, such as cats, are among the most common offenders here. Cats will use your crawl space not just as a place to live. It could also become their bathroom. Other animals that may find their way into your crawl space are armadillos, possums, and raccoons.
Having wild animals living between your foundation and floor isn’t an optimal situation to be in. A home inspector is likely to note not only that they are there, but how they got in. They do this because
The Value of Your Home
A professional crawl space and foundation repair service can provide you with tools that’ll help you meet the expectations that home inspectors have. They offer services and solutions to problems that are common in crawl spaces. Many of these services also offer to clean the crawl spaces for you.
Whether your home needs a vapor barrier, or a more extensive repair and cleaning depends on what the contractors find. If they do find problems developing down there, getting them repaired is the best way to safeguard the value of your property.
Even if you aren’t going to sell your home, and you don’t plan to have a home inspector tour your crawl space, you should have your crawl spaces looked at. Many significant problems can be dealt with before they develop if you have professional crawl space repair and cleaning done.
Foundation repair can cost thousands of dollars and be an extensive home improvement project. Some damage to our foundations we can’t control, but having our crawl spaces inspected and kept functional is something we can.
Don’t run the risk that your home won’t be sellable. If you’re in the Greater Hampton Roads region, contact us and we can help make sure your crawl spaces are clean, dry, and fully functional. Don’t wait for a home inspector to find a problem where you didn’t realize there could be one. Get your crawl space repaired and cleaned now.