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Crawlspace Standards?


hausdok
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This post originally posted in another forum by Paul Burrell. It and any posts related to it have been moved here by the Editor

If I remember correctly ASHI has standards for height of crawl to be entered. Without looking it up I think it is 24". I have seen crawls so low to ground I could not enter. I state this in report and state I could not enter or inspect because of low clearance from ground.

Correct me if I am not correct on this.

Paul Burrell

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This response originally posted in another forum by Hausdok and moved here by the Editor

Hi Paul,

You're wrong. It's in Section 13.2E and states: Inspectors are NOT required to entere: 1. any area which will, in the opinion of the inspector, likely be dangerous to the inspector or other persons or damage the property or its systems or components. 2. the under-floor crawl spaces or attics which are not readily accessible. No 24 inches mentioned anywhere.

Maybe you were thinking of the NAHI SOP, which states in Section 4.3.1: The inspector is NOT required to: Enter subfloor crawl spaces with headroom of less than 3 feet, obstructions, or other detrimental conditions.

or the TAREI SOP, which states: Specific limitations for foundations. The inspector is not required to enter a crawl space or any areas where headroom is less than 18 inches and the width of the access opening is less than two feet, or where the inspector reasonably determines conditions or materials are hazardous to health or safety of the inspector.

I routinely enter 'em with less than either. It's just a fact of life around here. Sometimes you'll get underneath the the joists will barely make the 19 inches above grade and the only reason the girders do is because they rest on piers set deep into little swales so that they'll still have their 12 inches of clearance.

I always know when it's time to go on a diet. When I'm less than 220 I can squeeze under those 12in. high girders. At 221 I'm not getting under it without a struggle.

OT - OF!!!

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This response originally posted in another forum by Kurt and moved here by the Editor

Hard & nasty fact of life in the biz is going into ratholes.

If I fit, I go in; that simple. I don't like it, even a tiny bit, but I'd dislike someone else going in & finding something nasty & having to explain why I didn't when "they" did.

I remember, almost like a past life, when I relished going in; macho kind of thing. "You're actually going in there???

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This response originally posted in another forum by Paul Burrell and moved here by the Editor

Originally posted by hausdok

Hi Paul,

I routinely enter 'em with less than either. It's just a fact of life around here. Sometimes you'll get underneath the the joists will barely make the 19 inches above grade and the only reason the girders do is because they rest on piers set deep into little swales so that they'll still have their 12 inches of clearance.

I always know when it's time to go on a diet. When I'm less than 220 I can squeeze under those 12in. high girders. At 221 I'm not getting under it without a struggle.

OT - OF!!!

M.

Mike,

So do I if there is enough clearance. I have been in crawls that could not be entered at several areas where the floor joists were practically touching the ground. That is why I have a monkey working for me.[:-slaphap

He does not speak english very well but I take his word for his evaluation anyway. Problem is to get his banana I think he is telling me what I want to hear instead of the facts.[:-crazy]

Paul Burrell

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This response originally posted in another forum by InspectHistoric and moved here by the Editor

Mike wrote: "Inspectors are NOT required to enter...the under-floor crawl spaces or attics which are not readily accessible".

The definition:

"Readily Accessible: Available for visual inspection without requiring moving of personal property, dismantling, destructive measures, or any action which will likely involve risk to persons or property"

At 5'10" and 155 lbs, everything is pretty much accessible for me, including doggie doors when the agent can't get the lock box to open.

I feel a strong obligation to inform folks about conditions in spaces that contain critical structural elements that no one has seen for a century or two.

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This response originally posted in another forum by Jeff Remas and moved here by the editor.

Access to crawlspaces:

If I fit, I go. 90% of the homes in the Poconos are crawlspace homes. Very few and far between it does not happen and always for darn good reasons.

Mr. 2020 Jose Colon:

You are a NACHI member, unlike your claim that you are, nor have ever belonged to a HI association.

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This response originally posted in another forum by Les and moved here by the editor.

"Don't you get dirty when you go into these filthy confined areas? I would just look at the doors and windows and siding alignment and give it my best guess what is going on in those holes. There would be doors if I was supposed to be in there. If I can't see it by the light of the flashlight (candle/Bic lighter), then it don't matter. My client will never get in there."

All phrases, more or less exact quotes, from a recent trial of a home inspector. Oh ya, he also cited the MIOSHA safety standards for confined spaces. He is gone and so is the house - flattened!

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This response originally posted in another forum by Hausdok and moved here by the editor.

Yeah,

They're really nasty. He's right about that but I can't even begin to estimate the number of times over the past decade that I've found major issues going on in crawls that weren'te evident from inside the home or even from a glance inside from the access port. If I had to add up the cost of repairs for rot, insect damage and faulty structural issues, I bet it would easily run into the millions.

Hang discussion of any dimensions. If I can extend one arm up over my head and get my head and one shoulder through the opening, and there's at least 12 inches under the joists, the rest of my body is able to follow and I'm going into them as deep and as far as possible. One thing is for sure, I'll never end up like that guy over any crawlspaces or attics.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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This response originally posted in another forum by Paul Burrell and moved here by the editor.

Can you cap this. I went into a crawl that was so low my butt was rubbing the floor joists. The furnace was in a hole that I was inspecting. All of a sudden I heard noise beside me and it scared the %#&(* out of me. I looked in that direction and the lady that owned the home was lying beside me! She said did you find anything wrong. She also would not let me remove the main electrical cover because It was painted to wall and she said I just painted and don't want the paint scratched. The buyer was there and said ok we don't want to upset her so leave it. He called me back after he bought the house and wanted me to come back and open and inspect the panel for free. You cam imagine what I told him to do with the panel cover.

Paul Burrell[:-banghea

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  • 2 months later...

Several years back on a housing rehab inspection I was in a crawlspace so short I had to belly crawl, looking to identify failed parts of a floor system. Occupant above me weighed about 280 lbs. and walked with a limp, sort of a rolling gait. As I crawled and she paced, I could see the whole frame shifting and groaning like a ship at sea, and I could just see the newspaper story about the inspector being squashed like a bug under a floor collapse.

As luck would have it, I did make it out of there.

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Originally posted by Jim Baird

I was in a crawlspace so short I had to belly crawl

That's an everyday thing around here.

By the time I'd been in this business a year I'd low-crawled more than I'd low-crawled in nearly 21 years in the service. I've gotten pretty good at walking on my heels and shoulderblades to get around in the one's too low to turn over in.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 4 weeks later...

I guess I'll quit going when I figure out how to explain why someone elese could find this but that I missed it, without me getting in trouble. Haven't figured it out yet.

Surprised me when the seller bellied down and followed me to see what I saw so she could fix it. Bet she wished she wore a dust mask. Very dry and dusty.

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