Don't Crawl Naked for Home Inspections (Pottstown)

By
Home Inspector with Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia

Don't Crawl Naked for Home Inspections (Pottstown)

 

Several years ago, I read an article in one of my trade magazines about making sure you are protected before going through crawl spaces. 

crawl space



When I do home inspections in Pottstown & surrounding and I have to go through a crawl space, I don't crawl naked!  By "naked", I'm referring to being unprotected.  The risk these crawl spaces pose when you crawl through them and stir up that old dust might be shocking if you knew what lies waiting in that old dust.

 

crawl space


Almost a quarter of the home inspections I do in Pottstown and surrounding areas has a crawl space.  Newer homes, even with the polythylene vapor barrier, can pose a risk, but most dangerous of all are the older crawl spaces with the dirt floor.

 

If you have ever crawled through one of these spaces, you know that you can find all sorts of interesting things in there- decompossed animal carcasses, rodent feces, trash, etc.  It's the stuff you don't see that is most troublesome. 

That dust you stir up from going through a crawl space can contain all sorts of chemicals and materials that do not biodegrade over time.  There are mold spores, asbestos, loose glass fibers pesticide warningfrom insulation, and pesticides.  Think about all those pesticides accumulating over the years ever since that home was first built.  Understand that some of the pesticides like Chlordane that they used in the 40s through the 80s and Dursban that was banned in the year 2000 were found to be carcinogens.  Those pesticides were designed not to be biodegradable and they lie and wait in some of these crawl spaces. 

 

If you are homeowner, your risk is minimal if you've only been through your crawl space on a few occasions. If you are a home inspector or in a trade that visits crawl spaces often, protection is a must.  I wear protective clothing during my home inspections to prevent contaminating the rest of the home and I wear a respirator and goggles so I can continue to do home inspections for years to come and protect my health.

 

respiratorWhat does "don't crawl naked" entail?  It means you want to wear protective clothing like coveralls, gloves, hat and remove those upon exiting the crawl space.  You also want a good respirator.  I recommend using a mask with a P-100 cartridge and make sure that you change the cartridges regularly because if they clog up, you are just going to pull in contaminated air.  

 

For further information, visit The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)


I don't crawl naked for home inspections and neither should you!


home inspector

David Artigliere with ARTI Home Inspections LLC is a home inspector in Pottstown, Reading, Norristown & surrounding areas.  He is available 7 days a week.  Visit his website at www.artihomeinspections.com or call (610) 220-1907.

 

 

Posted by

david the home inspectorDavid Artigliere, owner of ARTI Home Inspections LLC, is a home inspector in Pottstown, Reading, Norristown, Royersford and surrounding areas. 

He is available 7 days a week and can be reached at 610-220-1907.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Dan Edward Phillips 12/12/2011 02:20 AM
  2. Dan Edward Phillips 12/25/2011 09:09 PM
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Rainer
369,477
Andrew Capelli
Hoover Elementary - Hazel Park, MI

David: Yikes!  I never thought of those kinds of hazards for home inspectors- Your post has given me an entirely new level of respect for your profession.  Thanks for sharing!

Dec 07, 2011 08:50 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,185,295
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

David-makes total sense, who know what lies beneath the living areas, better to be safe than sorry.

 

Best

Dec 07, 2011 09:11 AM #2
Rainmaker
99,811
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect

Thanks Andrew.  I think people should research the hazard of any profession before jumping in unprotected and uninformed.  I still know inspectors who don't use respirators.

Dec 07, 2011 09:12 AM #3
Rainmaker
99,811
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect

Adrian-

Crawl spaces are protected from wind, rain, sun and things store for a long, long time in there.

Dec 07, 2011 09:13 AM #4
Rainmaker
529,985
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

David, Great advice.  I know in the past in Las Vegas most homes were on slabs but if there was a crawl spaced and I happened as an agent to visit it I only worried about black widows, snakes and scorpions.  It seems that there were many more dangers.

Dec 07, 2011 05:16 PM #5
Rainmaker
99,811
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect

Gary, every area of the country will have its own challenges.  I'm so glad I don't have to worry about black widows, snakes and scorpions!!!

Dec 08, 2011 02:08 AM #6
Rainer
183,257
Judith Sinnard
SMARTePLANS; Houston, Texas - Houston, TX
The SMARTePLAN Lady

David, Excellent post as most people likely think, "whats the deal...its empty space".  Here in Texas we have brown recluse and black widow spiders that like our attics, as well as our crawl spaces.  If you're bit by one you need to hustle over to the emergency room.  Thanks for the reminder. 

Dec 12, 2011 02:37 AM #7
Rainmaker
99,811
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect

Judith,  glad I don't have to worry about black widow spiders here in PA along with everything else.  Yikes!  Thanks for reading.

Dec 12, 2011 05:31 AM #8
Rainmaker
526,996
Kathryn Acciari
Century 21 Real Estate - Shrewsbury, MA
Brand Ambassador and Business Coach

Great information, David.  The dirt is the least worrisome factor.  Can't imagine why anyone would go in without the protection you describe.

Jan 31, 2012 11:12 PM #9
Rainmaker
99,811
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect

Kathryn- people don't realize how hazardous things can really be.  They look at a crawl space and think it's just dirt.  I hope this helps educate homeowners to be more careful!

Feb 01, 2012 06:55 AM #10
Rainer
32,060
Scott M. Stulich
Signature Realty Group, LLC. - Dundalk Sparrows Point, MD
"REALTY becomes REALITY"

Great read David. Thanks for sharing!!!!!

Nov 23, 2014 11:45 PM #11
Rainmaker
99,811
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect

Thanks for stopping by, Scott!

Feb 12, 2016 03:40 AM #14
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Rainmaker
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David Artigliere

ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect
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