The Not-So-Great Down Under: A Day in The Crawl Space

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Termite tubes, water damage, and poor foundation repairs are all visible from the crawl space.

Every week, the detail-oriented folks at Green Scene Home Inspections will give readers an education in inspection. Want to see what they see? Tune in for “Upon Closer Inspection.”

Pier-and-beam foundations are pretty common in the North Texas area, in neighborhoods with older homes. When you have a pier-and beam foundation, you have space — usually about two feet or less — under the house between the ground and the floor called the crawl space.

You can access the crawl space through a hatch, sometimes on the side of the house, or in the floor of a hallway or closet. Here’s some basic info about pier-and-Beam foundations.

From the crawl space, we can see how the foundation is functioning, some plumbing, evidence of pests, etc. This week, we’re looking at some of the interesting conditions one inspector found under a house in Dallas.

Hanging Termite Tubes

Here’s something you don’t see every day. Termites build these tubes to travel to and from water and food sources. You more frequently see them along a wall or other structure, but our inspector found these long, hanging tubes that you can see in the photo above.

Pier-and-Beam Foundation “Repair”

With a pier-and-beam foundation, you can expect some shift over time. When that happens, a repairman will replace any damaged wood and help prop up the pier using a shim. The “repair” in this photo is more like the equivalent of sticking some sugar packets under a wobbly table in a restaurant.

Too Much Moisture

In another part of the crawl space, the inspector found weeds growing. This indicates that too much moisture in getting under the house. If weeds can grow, mold can grow, and the weeds could end up interfering with the structure or wiring under the house. It would be important to discover where the moisture is coming from and seal it off.

In this video, our inspector goes into the crawl space with a foundation repair guy to find the source of an uneven door jam.

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