Dangers Lurking Underneath Your House

It's not hard to imagine that there could actually be plenty of dangers lurking underneath your house. If you're claustrophobic or afraid of the dark, you might think twice before entering the crawlspace area underneath your home.

In my opinion, the biggest problem that lurks underneath your home would be tight spaces. The building code requires a minimum distance of 18 inches between the top of the soil and the bottom of your floor joist. The distance between the top of the soil and the bottom of your floor girder beams which are supporting your floor joist will be 12 inches.

Even if the underneath of your house meets your local building codes, it could be very difficult for a large person to maneuver freely without constraints underneath any home. I wouldn't advise anyone to go underneath your house, if you have problems squeezing into the actual access opening.

Another danger that's often lurking underneath your house would be creepy insects, rodents, reptiles, cats, birds and anything else that walks, crawls more slithers. It's not uncommon to find skeletons of animals in these crawl spaces either.

One of the first things I do, before entering the crawlspace is to poke my head through the access hole with a bright light to make sure that nothing is moving around in the dark. I will also look for animal tracks around the crawlspace access opening.

If I find any types of animal tracks, there's a good chance that something could be living under the house or that something lived under the house and now might be dead. Dead animals often smell horrible, so if the crawlspace you are about to enter has animal tracks around the access hole with an extremely bad odor emanating from underneath the house, use caution.

If you don't feel comfortable going underneath the house, I wouldn't go under the house. If you're afraid of the dark, it wouldn't be a bad idea to carry at least two flashlights, in case something happens to one of them.

You should also examine these areas for puddles of water, which would indicate that you have a water leak somewhere and musty smells, which might be a sign that there isn't enough ventilation under the home.