Creepy Crawly Crawlspaces

            One of the homeowner's least explored areas is the crawl space. Exploring crawl spaces where accessible are part of a Certified Home Inspector's task, and as a Charleston Home Inspector, I have encountered many. It is little wonder the crawl space is neglected-the conditions are less than desirable. It is usually dark, damp, musty, and only one way in and out, with only enough headroom to crawl on hands and knees. The crawl space can also be a host to injury hazards such as construction debris, broken glass, piece of left over fencing, etc., as well as rodents, snakes, biting insects, and spiders. It is for these reasons many Certified Home Inspectors, including your Charleston Home Inspector, will charge a little extra for inspections requiring entry into this space. Here is an example of a not-so-common injury during a recent Charleston Home Inspection:

I was performing a Charleston Home Inspection toward the end of summer. I decided to enter the crawlspace last, so it was mid afternoon and quite muggy and hot, so I didn't put on my coveralls. I headed to the crawlspace, flashlight in hand, was performing the duct work inspection, plumbing inspection, and foundation/structure inspection. I was on my way out, in about the middle area of the house, when out of the corner of my eye, in the dim shadows of the flashlight beam,I saw something move. As I looked behind me, chills overcame me when I saw a huge black spider, about the size of my hand. I sprang toward the opening, probably a good 40 feet away, scurrying on my hands and knees. Every time I lunged, the spider sprang as well, gaining with every stride. I screamed, probably like a scared schoolgirl, and threw my only weapon, my flashlight at the creature, and kept high-tailing on hands and knees, the spider still gaining and jumping at me. In his panic, your Charleston Home Inspector forgot about the low hanging duct work, banged his head, but kept crawling in fast motion. When I was close enough to the hatch opening, I turned , hoping I had escaped the creature, I had no strength left for flight. But there it was, sitting still, about 2 feet away, seemingly waiting for the best opportunity to pounce. Then I saw what the “creature” was. It seemed an old black string had become tangled in my shoelaces and the end of the string had formed a flattened clump, with cobwebs and some small sticks attached. My knees were skinned, my head had a small cut, and I was panting and sweating when I emerged from the crawlspace, embarrassed, but glad to be alive. Lucky for me, my client had remained inside the house and missed the funniest crawlspace inspection in the history of Charleston Home Inspections.