Shocking Truth About Crawl Space Inspections In Virginia
Or the lack thereof
In Virginia, home inspectors are not required to enter the crawlspace. We are allowed to inspect the crawlspace from the entrance, as long as note how we inspected it. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Even INACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspections), and the lesser known ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) don’t require inspectors to enter the crawlspace.
Crawlspaces contain HVAC components such as air handlers, furnaces, and ducts, There is usually a lot of plumbing pipes and sometimes even water heaters. Major defects such as termites, wood rot, foundation cracks, or standing water could be present. The list goes on and on and yet home inspectors may not inspect your crawlspace.
Obviously if there is significant standing water, friable asbestos, copperhead snakes or any other safety hazards, the inspector should not enter the crawlspace. Sometimes, especially in downtown Richmond the crawl space is only a few inches high and not even I could fit in there. These types of limitations make sense.
If you are home buyer, or a Real Estate agent, make you sure you interview your home inspector before hiring them. At a minimum you should ask them if they go on the roof, or enter the crawlspace. A professional service includes going in the crawlspace and getting on the roof. You should also review their sample home inspection report.