I have found all sorts of things in crawl spaces.
Dead rats are very common.
As are the skeletons of cats, dogs, birds and mice–and even snakes.
I have seen live raccoons, snakes, rats, and mice.
There is always the spiders and wood destroying insects–termites, carpenter ants, moisture ants and anobiid beetles.
There can be structural concerns from rotten floor systems and support posts–as well as failing foundations and supports.
All of these things, along with the plumbing leaks from both sewage and water supply pipes, and electrical issues make these places a treasure trove of blog fodder and all things nasty.
Crawl spaces of course can be flooded.
There have also been the occasional abandoned wells and septic tanks.
Finding oneself on the precipice of either of these is freakier to me than piles of rodent crap or even raccoon latrines.
I have seen a landfill of stored items from abandoned tires, water heaters, and lumber, to Christmas decorations and kiddie pools.
There have been the lost and forgotten toys, from naked Barbie dolls……
……to marbles, Legos, and the Lone Ranger’s badge.
Of course there are the physical constraints of really low crawl spaces……
…..and even crawl spaces that are so full of vegetation that access was not possible…..
…..or insulation in the way…..
……or even so much dryer lint that inspection was not possible.
Aside from all of these things there is another thing that I don’t like finding in a crawl space.
If you don’t recognize this contraption, it is the fill pipe/cap for an underground oil tank. These tanks are difficult enough to remove and/or decommission when they are merely along the side of the home. Hide them in the middle of a crawl space and they get REALLY difficult to deal with.
Sometimes it is difficult to remember that in the context of all the other stuff that is the part of any ordinary crawl space–there is this important stuff to find too.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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