Seattle Home Inspector's Blog



    Crawl spaces can be pretty inhospitable places.  There is all too often the possibility of electrocution, raw sewage, rats, raccoons, dust laden with asbestos and harmful pathogens, flooding, collapsing wells and septic tanks, chemicals from Pest Control Operators, collapsing structural elements, and in some areas----SNAKES.  I was glad this python/boa (don't want to know enough about snakes to know the difference) was dead----although very smelly.  This particular snake was someone's escaped pet.  I would hate to be hugged to death in a crawl space and not be able to reach my cell phone.  The crawl space is also where all the stuff most capable of turning the buyer away from the deal can be found.  The crawl space I inspected today, no one had been in for 27 years----lots can go wrong in that amount of time.  Homeowners could really save a lot of money in the long run if they would have these spaces checked at least every two years.

 Dead snake in a crawl space














Charles Buell


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Seattle Home Inspector


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Comment balloon 6 commentsCharles Buell • January 03 2008 01:59AM
Crawl spaces can be pretty inhospitable places. There is all too often the possibility of electrocution, raw sewage, rats, raccoons, dust laden with asbestos and harmful pathogens, flooding, collapsing wells and septic tanks, chemicals from… more
Coffee, Tea or…
Following the theme of my last blog about Whirlpool Baths, another issue that can sometimes gross out the buyer is when the sink faucet delivers "coffee" instead of water. This condition is usually a sign that the home has older… more
What is that coming out of those JETS?
While this would not slip my most agents, I am still surprised how often the Whirlbath tub jets have NOT been cleaned prior to inspection of the home. These tubs can be a serious health hazard if not properly maintained. There is nothing more… more
Cleaning furnace air intake screens
To continue with the vent cleaning theme, there is another item that needs to be maintained. This screened opening is an air "intake" as opposed to "vent" however. Many homes with combustion type heating systems have air… more
I HATE bees!
Like the dryer vent caps, other exhaust fan vent caps need to be properly maintained. These caps can suffer from mechanical damage and can be points of entry to the structure for vermin---birds, bees, squirrels and rats. The single biggest… more
Plugged dryer vent caps---fire safety hazard.
I am amazed at how often I see plugged dryer vents. The lint/dust that plugs these vents represents a significant fire hazard and should be maintained free of debris. This is something that the homeowner/handyman can do. Everyone's use… more
When do you NOT need an inspection?
When do you NOT need an inspection? Well, inspections are always a good idea even when the conditions are as obvious as this interior door being used as an exterior door. Not all problems are this obvious. Sometimes obvious issues (even hilarious… more
Are your outside faucets freeze protected?
Many homes have what are called "frost-free" outside faucets. The design of these faucets is such that the water is actually shut-off at the interior of the home where is more likely to be warmer thus preventing freezing of the water near… more
Test your GFCI's
When was the last time you tested your GFCI protected receptacles----you know those receptacles around the home that have the little test buttons on them (some are red & black)? These receptacles are required in New Construction at many… more
A different movie: "Snakes on a roof"
Condo inspections represent an interesting dilemma for inspectors. There is so much that is "typically" deferred to the Condo Association: exterior, roof, common areas etc. Even while "excluding" these areas I am still… more