Inspecting homes can be a very dangerous career if the right precautions aren’t taken. From getting on slippery rooftops to going into crawlspaces’. 

Crawlspaces’ often get overlooked by homeowners; out of sight, out of mind. Until inspection day comes, and the potential hazards are brought to everyone’s attention.

Common hazards found in the crawlspaces’ include but not limited to:

  • Improper wiring
  • Toxins
  • Animals

1. Improper wiring- Usecaution if you see loose, exposed wiring, hanging electrical components, or open junction boxes. These wiring issues become particularly dangerous near water.Although difficult to identify, electricity is a significant risk to home inspectors. Touching a live wire can cause painful and, sometimes, fatal injuries, including electrocution, electric shock, and burns.
2. Toxins- When inspecting a crawlspace, be on guard for sources of toxins, airborne or otherwise. These may include:

  • Mold 
  • Asbestos insulation
  • Radon
  • Dry rot
  • Gas or chemical leaks
  • Sewage

Exposure to these toxins can cause a variety of health problems, ranging from mild irritations to serious illnesses. Mold exposure, for example, may cause coughing and wheezing.
3. Animals- Inspecting tight quarters is already challenging enough, adding venomous, and possibly deadly small critters to the mix has the potential of being extremely dangerous.

  • Snakes
  • Vermin: Spiders, ants, bees, wasps, cockroaches, termites, scorpions, rats, and mice
  • Larger mammals: Skunks, raccoons, groundhogs, possums, and cats

In the photo to the right, you can see someone who was using a trash can as a DIY septic holding tank in the crawl space. Not only does this have the potential of causing a foundational issue, but also is extremely dangerous for inspectors to breathe in.

Crawlspace safety

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