The Inspector as Rodent!

By
Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

     Everyone can relate to how “inhospitable” crawl spaces can be, and I am not going to delight you with more horror stories typical of those places.

     This is more about what contortions your inspector will endure to get him or her self into these spaces; and what limitations are logical and necessary to keep them out of the “hospital.”  Obviously, the fire department cutting through the living room floor to retrieve a stuck home inspector would be very embarrassing no matter what the inspector found-----it would be good blog fodder though.

     For me it is my head and shoulders----an opening of 8” by 14-1/2” will do.  If I can get my head and shoulders through the opening----I am in there.

     So what about heating/cooling ductwork in crawl spaces?  Most inspectors are usually dealing with how to get around, over or under these installations----without doing more damage to them than the last wanker did.

     But what about the INSIDE of the ductwork----does your inspector go INSIDE the ductwork if he can fit?

     Well of course I am kidding----sort of.

Seattle----land of houseboats     In a recent inspection of a houseboat of all places, I had to inspect a crawl space that was the heating system plenum----the cold air return to the furnace.  This was not the first houseboat that I had inspected but it was the first that had a crawl space (it was also not the first heated plenum I have inspected).  It is kind of weird to be in a crawl space that you know has water slapping against the foundation all around you.  The floor of the crawl space was at water level or a little below.

     One might think that this crawl space would be a water nightmare, but in reality it was one of the driest crawl spaces I have been in for quite a while----and no vents either----a great example of why venting of crawl spaces is unnecessary and should not be allowed.  By making this space what we called “conditioned” space it ultimately has no higher moisture levels than anywhere else in the house----assuming there are no plumbing leaks to fill it up.  This space has performed as designed for 26 years.

     The problem with the installation is that clearances throughout the space (1000 sq ft) were a little less than desirable----with less than 14 inches from the floor to the joists above.  When there is this little room, I am more than likely accurate in assuming that no other inspector has considered the space “accessible” since it was built 26 years ago.  This just reinforces even more the importance of me being the one that gets to do it.  It did make me wish I had a little rodent home inspection assistant like my buddy Steve.

     But no-----I get to be the rodent.

Me as plenum rodent

Charles Buell

 

 

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PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.Just quack on me to subscribe

 


Raven DeCroeDeCroe, is my "etherial" home inspector assistant and occasionally flies into my blog and other people's blogs to offer assistance. To find out more about her beginnings just click on Raven.

 

 
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Seattle Home Inspector

 

The Human Rights Campaign   QR code for Charles Buell Inspections Inc  ASHI.org

 

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Ambassador
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Guilty as charged, James.  Guilty as charged.

Feb 26, 2009 10:38 AM #38
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Tony---one would like to think that greater precautions were taken----for sure.

Feb 26, 2009 10:42 AM #39
Rainmaker
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Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Charles, I see you did use the picture!! It is scarier than a dead raven!  I'm not getting comments back so didn't see all this delightful Nutsy dialogue.  What am I doing wrong?  I just went up there and clicked notify me of comments and it said subscribe.  When I clicked subscribe it said I'd asked to quit being notified about this blog update or comments.  LOL

Feb 26, 2009 01:14 PM #40
Rainmaker
602,431
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Lone Tree, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

@Barbara - they don't want us to follow - to where no man/squirrel has gone before... or should I say where many men have gone and gotten stuck (not the slippery squirrels) . BTW Hope you will keep your new photo on you profile - I love it! ~Rita

Feb 26, 2009 02:19 PM #41
Rainer
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Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

I'm getting claustrophobic just looking at that photo. Who was on the other end to snap that pic?

Feb 26, 2009 03:08 PM #42
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Barbara you better listen to Raven:)  I only get comments notification on my own posts---pain in the butt

Raven DeCroe

Thanks Rita----I will keep it for a while anyway.

Feb 26, 2009 03:10 PM #43
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim----I was alone with my camera and its timer function:)

Feb 26, 2009 03:20 PM #44
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Mike O'Handley
Your Inspector Inc. - Seattle, WA

Some days one is better off staying in bed.Jeez Charlie!

You da Man!!!  8in. by 14-1/2in! That's tight.

Here's me getting all 262 pounds through a hatch that's 9in by 20in. The client was convinced that I'd never get through the hatch let along thorugh the entire crawl. We B sick, Bro!

Mike O'Handley, Editor - The Inspector's Journal (TIJ)

Feb 26, 2009 03:33 PM #45
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Mike---you got me by 115 llbs---so proportionally that is probably about right----yup----we be sick:)

Feb 26, 2009 03:54 PM #46
Rainmaker
1,787,611
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Alan and James - forget Elvis.  That's ANN MARGARET!

Feb 26, 2009 07:57 PM #47
Rainmaker
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Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

This is why I come to an inspector's blog.  I have more respect for you all everytime I read the stories on posts like these.  Thanks.  Thanks for being brave enough to do it and good enough to explain it all to me and my clients.  We may hate handing you a check, but we do love your work.

HOORAY FOR INSPECTORS!

Feb 27, 2009 02:05 AM #48
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay---don't think about Ann Margaret,----don't think about Ann Margaret,---don't think about Ann Margaret,---don't think about Ann Margaret,---don't think about Ann Margaret:)

Matt, thanks---most of us do try to go the extra mile for our buyers. 

Feb 27, 2009 02:15 AM #49
Rainmaker
179,785
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Don't have much trouble getting in or out, it's the d__n turnaround that gets me. The dog doesn't care much for water, so I don't think he'd like boats.

Feb 27, 2009 05:25 AM #50
Rainmaker
314,101
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park

Charlie - Your looking very serious! Was it the fear of the unknown? I love that picture ! 

Feb 27, 2009 05:44 AM #51
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

I would say inside ductwork in a houseboat is "going the extra mile" . good Job Charles!!!

But tell me... did you also put on scuba gear to inspect the underside of the houseboat too?

Feb 27, 2009 05:47 AM #52
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jack, you are right----the turn arounds are a pain----I hate when I have to back all the way out:)

Carol----glad you like the picture---I will probably keep it up for a while:)

Kevin----no scuba gear for me!

Feb 27, 2009 06:22 AM #53
Rainer
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Shelley Kreutzer
Community One Realty - French Valley, CA

WOW...You do this for a living? You must really enjoy your job. Hats off to you for doing what you do.

Feb 27, 2009 02:05 PM #54
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Shelly---a living?  Purely for fun:)

Feb 28, 2009 02:41 AM #55
Rainmaker
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Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr Charles,

If you weigh 115 pounds, you weigh a lot more than me.

Feb 28, 2009 03:57 AM #56
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Nutsy---I see you have amazing math skills as well as nice gloves.

Feb 28, 2009 04:02 AM #57
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