I don’t think this is a question that is even on most people’s radar. I would say that the vast majority of homes never see a home inspector unless it is being sold. While my recommendations may not be pertinent to other parts of the country, certainly in the Northwest—especially if you have a crawl space—you should have your home professionally inspected on a regular basis.
If your home has a crawl space, it is a good idea for the homeowner to have a good look at the space a couple of times a year to note any flooding issues—either from ground water or plumbing leaks. If you see any water in your crawl space it would be considered prudent to have it evaluated right away by a Licensed Structural Pest Inspector—unless of course you can see the obvious source of leaking—and can call a plumber instead.
I recommend that crawl spaces be checked professionally every 2-3 years in conjunction with the homeowner keeping an eye on them. Sump pumps in the crawl space require even more frequent inspections.
If your a crawl space has not been inspected in for 5 or 10 years—get it inspected now. “Out of sight, out of mind,” is not a concept that is applicable to crawl spaces at all.
Homes without crawl spaces can benefit from a professional home inspection every 5 years and should be considered essential every 10 years. If your home has not been inspected in 10 years it won’t be hard to find the cost of the inspection in terms of issues. Most home inspectors will be able to provide you with a nice “honey-do” list if your home has not been inspected in 10 years.
This picture was taken in a crawl space of a home that had its last inspection 10 years earlier. I suspect there may have been some damage already in this area 10 years earlier—no way to tell.
Currently the support post is completely rotted away and the beam above had settled more than 2 inches. Information about this post could have been useful prior to waiting 10 years.
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