Hi All, I spent 4 Hrs in a nice damp dirt crawl space with the insulation fallin down and moldy stuff growing all around. There were some nice holes from either a rat or possum or something. Did put a big rock over it just for peace of mind. There was about 30" of clearance did the belly crawl cause there just wasn't enough room to get up on the old knee's. Whats your crawl space story?
My house is on a crawl. Hate it everytime I have to go in.
Years back...pulling alarm cabling thru a crawl space, using a flashlight, shine the light ahead as I crawl....see reflection that looks like 'eyes'; threw a hammer, no movement...long story short...a stuffed animal that some clown put down there.
I was crawling towards the kitchen and as i got closer i saw the end piece of a tail and as got closer that tail got longer and longer and i kept crawling further and further from where i needed to go. finally, that thing was a pure complete skeleton of a possum. i finally got where i was headed did my work but kept the hammer handy just in case it moved for some reason. and all that time i kept telling it if you move YOU WILL GET WACKED WITH THIS HAMMER.
Hehe. I've been in some pretty tight crawl spaces in my time.
One thing that stands out is how plumbers always have the annoying habit of running their pipes (PVC) right past the man-hole, so getting under the floor or getting out is pretty much impossible, without sucking your chest way in.
I remember being under the floor of a house some years back and let my eyes accustom to the darkness, I shone my flashlight around to have a look around (as you do), in one corner, I saw about 16 or so pairs of small eyes looking back at me, I have never bent myself so quickly since.
One other time, I was under a floor installing a cable for a Night-Store heater, I happened to turn around and there were some green eyes looking back at me from the other end of the torch beam, the owners cat had got under the floor and Good Lord, have you ever tried to catch a cat under a floor without knocking yourself stupid?
My worst crawlspace experience was in a brand-new house that my family bought in 1972. I was only 11 at the time and had no clue what to expect in there. We had no hot water and the plumbing contractor came over to see what was wrong. Being eager, I volunteered to go into the crawlspace since the plumber was somewhat hesitant to enter. He just wanted me to verify that the water heater was actually connected.
I went barreling in there to find that the cable had never been connected to the WH. On my way out on my hands and knees, I managed to encounter several large shavings of sheet metal from the HVAC installers. There was a field of scraps that were just barely beneath the soil.
This resulted in a trip to the emergency room: Three stitches in one knee, five in the other and and two deep slits in my left hand/wrist later, I learned to be more careful in crawlspaces. Hey, it was dark in there and long before there was a requirement for lighting in such areas.
Despite the fact that I was bleeding like a stuck pig, there was a small snake in there that I couldn't resist. If memory serves me correctly, I also had a frog in my pocket. While my bleeding was the least of my worries, I caught the snake and brought him out with me. I and asked my mom if I could keep him as a pet. Turns out that he was a copperhead and could have/should have bitten me, but he didn't. Mom still said no.
This was in North Carolina, where crawlspaces are full of black widow spiders and snakes. Not knowing any better, I used that crawlspace as my "fort" for two years. Now that I look back at it, I guess I'm lucky to be alive.
I can't say I've had very many 'bad' crawl space experiences; quite the opposite.
When I was 7, we moved to a farm that was about to explode into a decade-long frenzy of building a suburb. I grew up exploring houses and watching the trades. I spent many a happy moment watching the plumbers work in the crawl spaces.
Later, when work sent me into crawl spaces, my first 'critter' experience was the time I lay on my side, trying to make some connections, when something brushed against me - then licked my ear. The family dog had come to visit. I've also had the cat walk over me, and the dog bolt out of the crawl after seeing me down there.
As an apprentice, I was sent into the crawl while the boss did the outside work ... feeding me the cable that I had to drag the length of the house and pass out the other side. He thought he was giving me the 'rough' part .... little did he realize that the customer had avoided landfil expense by laying his old carpeting down in the crawl space (seems his kids also played there).
Now, one customer claimed to have a cat - but I never saw "fluffy." Panicked after the job, we looked all over, assuming Fluffy had slipped out during the course of the job. No joy ... we figured Fluffy would make a nice treat for some coyote. As you might guess, I got a call three days later that they had found Fluffy - well, but hungry - who had aparrently accompanied me into the crawlspace, then been closed up when I left! I still coundn't tell you if the cat was black or white ... I have yet to see her.
Raccoons in the crawl space? Hey, no problem .... I once read a book about "tunnel rats" in Vietnam. Just make REAL sure you have good hearing protection, try for a head shot - and thick gloves just in case the first shot is followed by some H2H. Don't ask me how I know this.
My craziest crawl space experience, though, was in one space that was so damp that the ground was like silly putty. You couldn't even turn a screwdriver without pushing back into the earth, losing all mechanical advantage. I had to lay one of my 'attic boards' down so I could work.
I really like that stuffed toy story ... I'll have to try it some time!
My worst one was on this podunk little house way out in the sticks. The whole job was sort of... creepy. And seeing the crawlspace didn't improve how I felt about it. To get into this space I had to squeeze through a vent opening roughly the size of two cinder-blocks. I get under this house and it's not even a "crawl" space, it's a "drag yourself forward with your arms while lying flat on your stomach" space. Of course, the place I have to get to is clear on the opposite corner of the house.
So I'm pulling myself over all this ancient construction rubbish and god knows what else is down there, trying not to think about what's below me or what's living in the beams directly over me, for that matter.
I get into the corner and start working on a j-box with the glow from my little flashlight. Out of the corner of my eye I see a bunch of camel crickets, crickets with big long legs, all over the wall. Heck, they're just big crickets, no problem. Then when I'm finished, I shine the light over to the wall: Wolf spiders. Each one several inches in diameter. Dozens of them all over the wall and god knows where else.
I'm a little bit of an arachnophobe, to put it mildly, and you never did see anyone drag themselves across a crawlspace and stuff themselves back out a vent as fast as I did.
Yacht club in Winthrop(I'm sure you know the one), We were installing "heat tape",under the building. We had to work between the tides.
As I approached the end (front)of the building!!!! Twelve (12) eyes!!! Raccoons!!! Momma and a few babies! Damn am I fast! These guys sneak in and are stuck for the full tide,no other way out. Needless to say.....I spend more time now 'looking' around than I should.
I have been in many crawl spaces, I think everyone one that I have been in has either had many piles of poo or dead rats. The only living things that I have seen were cats. I hope I never see anything else.
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