I'm in the process of buying a home. I had it inspected by a home inspector and a termite guy. They found that the part of the crawl space under the kitchen was too low to the ground to access. They said that anything could be in there since they couldn't get into it to see.

My real estate agent says many houses have inaccessible crawl space areas. She seems to think its not a big deal. Should I be concerned? How would I know if I had termites down there, and how could they be treated?

  • Normally (at least where I am) a home inspector would use an inspection camera to take a look around. It's a small camera with it's own lights and mounted on a bendable wire. They can get in just about anywhere.
    – Grant
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 18:08

3 Answers 3


If you can't crawl in it, it isn't a crawl space - PERIOD.

This isn't an alarming issue. But you should try to look at it in whatever way you can. Floors that low to the ground can have dry rot, retain water and can create thermal issues in some climates. It really depends if it was done right and insulated.

Now if I were buying a home I would almost treat this like a slab. Know that you may need to tear up the floor to move electrical and plumbing in the future. Inherently this is a bad thing and should make you think about the value of the home but it certainly isn't a deal-breaker when buying a house. (Mike Holmes would tell you to dig it down and pour concrete - but it just needs to be insulated really)


This isn't an authoritative answer, BUT, over here in the UK the vast majority of houses don't have accessible crawlspaces.

Even if they did, any hatches would be hidden under carpets and probably forgotten so no inspector would even consider attempting to enter. Add in dwarf walls, old rubble and so on and the chances of being able to explore much of the house is minimal at best.

But then we don't have major issues with termites either - I'd suggest contacting a specific pest control expert who may be able to make other investigations. For some reference, I was almost certainly the first to enter my houses crawlspaces since it was originally built and that was while replacing the entire downstairs floors and joists.


Seems like two code violations: 1) minimum crawl space access size, and 2) crawl space ground clearance.

1) The code requires an access opening 18” x 24”. (See ICC 1209.1.)

2) Wood joists less than 18” above grade shall be preservative treated wood AND beams and girders less than 12” above grade shall be preservative treated. (Note: There is an exception for naturally durable woods. I presume that means cedar, redwood, etc.) ((See 2304.11.2)

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