Asbestos in crawl area (C) Daniel FriedmanCrawl Space Safety
Checklist of Unsafe Crawl Space Conditions
     

  • CRAWL SPACE SAFETY ADVICE - CONTENTS: Safe procedures for inspecting building crawl spaces. When to enter or not enter a building crawl area - when is it unsafe to enter a crawl space? List of crawl space safety hazards: shock, rodents, snakes, chemical contaminants, risk of structural collapse, mold, respiratory illness, hantavirus, asbestos exposure, etc.
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about safety hazards in building crawl spaces
  • REFERENCES
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This article lists potentially dangerous or un-healthy conditions that should be evaluated by an inspector or worker who is expected to enter, inspect, or work in a crawl space anywhere in a building. The crawl space shown in our page top photo was in our opinion not a readily accessible area. This decision is made by the inspector on the scene, not by anyone else.

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Crawl Space Safety for Home Inspectors

Wet crawl space unsafe to enter (C) Daniel FriedmanIs the crawl space safely accessible, or accessible at all?

A number of conditions besides the old saw "accessibility" or size of the crawl space opening should be considered carefully by the home inspector, electrical inspector, or anyone who is deciding if it is safe to enter an crawl area anywhere in a building.

[Click to enlarge any image]

This article provides a list of some safety and health considerations that the building or home inspector or anyone else should evaluate before deciding to enter a crawl space.

Separately at CRAWL SPACE ACCESS we describe codes & standards for accessing building crawl spaces and we describe methods used to enter or inspect crawl areas that are not accessible by normal means of an available hatch or opening or that lack adequate safe space for entry.

If the crawl space has areas of puddles or standing water or even if the soil surface is simply wet there is risk of electrical shock (if wiring or electrical devices are present).

There may also be a chemical contamination risk, especially in older buildings where pesticides may have been applied in the crawl area.

Sewage backup under a home

An iffy crawl space (C) Daniel Friedman


Asbestos in crawl area (C) Daniel Friedman

Mold on framing in a crawl space (C) Daniel Friedman


Entry to a tight crawl space (C) Daniel Friedman

Collapsing structure in a crawl space (C) Daniel Friedman

Examples of Crawl Space Safety Gear for Entering Crawl Spaces & Mold Contaminated Areas

Examples of protective clothing and gear for crawl space entry (C) Daniel FriedmanThese crawl space safety suggestions are not an exhaustive inventory of all safety procedures nor gear should be used when entering a crawl space. Additional protective equipment and even accompaniment, breathing apparatus, and rescue gear may be required according to building structure, safety, and other conditions.

Soft hat for head protection in tight spaces (C) Daniel Friedman Hard Hat for crawl spaces (C) Daniel Friedman

Readers whose crawl space or basement have been flooded should also see FLOODS IN BUILDINGS-priorities.

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Continue reading at CRAWL SPACE ACCESS or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below.

Or see CRAWL SPACE DEBRIS

Or see BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE

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CRAWL SPACE SAFETY ADVICE at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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