Crawl space in under house

Im in California, our code book says the crawl space opening
must be 18" high by 24" wide for entry. Does the crawl space have
maintain the 18" height for me to keep inspecting crawl space area ?

The house that I inspected had a 18 by 24 opening but did not
maintain 18 height on the concrete pier foundations.


As a general rule, if I can belly crawl my self through, I go. That’s why I keep coveralls and and a respirator mask, and extra flashlights, and etc., etc. in my vehicle
First thing I want to do is see all that is “accesable” The last thing I want to do is get stuck. By the way, as HIs we don’t inspect or quote code.

My state’s SOP says I don’t have to inspect a crawl < 18". Be aware of today’s standards for minimum distances between soil and untreated lumber and put that in your report if it isn’t met.


If you’ve got a gut, forgidaboudit.

My general rule of thumb is that if I can fit without removing my respirator, it gets inspected.

The vast majority of modern CA homes are built on slabs - unless, of course, they’re a hillside home. Most crawl spaces in CA date back to the mid '60’s and earlier. That’s many years of pesticide build-up, not to mention the potential for asbestos building materials.

I don’t sacrifice my PPE for anything. . .

Jeff just made a really important point. I hope all of you are wearing your masks / reapirators when you go under these units. There can be some pretty dangerous chemicals under there.

Dosen’t OSHA state that a crawlspace must be 4’?

OSHA regulates “employee” safety. Not owner safety. It doesn’t give a hoot about residential constructions standards. And OSHA doesn’t “approve” ladders or anything else.

David Valley, you crack me up. You get the greatest photos.

Been stuck a few times. It can be scary, but not as scary as missing WDO issues.

The following is from the IRC as a guide

Therefore, I look for 16" of clearance from grade to framing as a minimum to enter a crawl space.

But if you don’t go in you better clearly flag you didn’t fully inspect the crawl space and the potential for defects, as it’s usually a common problem area … and perhaps even recommend they budget for addressing common crawl space issues until it can be fully inspected.

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink:

Does OSHA apply if you have an inspector working for you?

Yes. Then your company would be regulated. (The employees would be regulated–not the owner.) They have no rules that establish when a crawl space height is considered safe. However, OSHA does have a General Duty Clause. [FONT=Verdana]It covers areas of occupational safety and health that are not addressed by a specific standard. It states that the workplace “must be free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”[/FONT] One of the things OSHA would be looking at, if anyone were to get injured or killed, is: employee training, and policies and procedures.

So, if you have employees it may well be good to establish procedures such as “if you have to remove your respirator, do not proceed” or “under no circumstances enter a crawl space < xx inches”. “Do not cross electric lines that are on the ground”, etc. You should document that instruction at least annually, with employees signing a training form. You also need to establish disciplinary action procedures. Training is worth nothing if it isn’t enforced. You can’t cite employee misconduct if you never enforce your rules.

I was an OSHA Compliance Officer in SC for 4 years. I conducted many fatality investigations. Let me know if you have other questions.

If I can fit I get in there, with one caveat. I must be able to turn around to get the heck out. We have too many critters in all seasons of the year that love to nest in a crawl space, or under a manufactured home, and since Dave Valley found a picture of me, you can see I need considerable space to turn around. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


I never told them it was you, now everyone knows your identity.

I have a question about a cleanspace installation with a sump pump. At the lowest point of the interior grade, there are 22" between the dirt and the bottom of the floor joists. Can a sump pump be installed there, or does the minimum 30" of headroom above serviceable equipment apply?

Darryl this is an 8 year old string . Why not start a new string .

I think there is lots of submersible pumps you can get in the area .