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How to know if a house has a wet basement?

wet basement

Nothing is more frustrating than making an offer on your dream home only for a home inspection to reveal a serious basement problem. Nobody wants to buy a house that is prone to flooding. This is because of the numerous adverse consequences of a wet basement, including mildew and mould growth, rotted wood and damaged stored items. Prior to a home inspection, most homeowners try to fix the wet basement problem in order to win the trust of potential buyers.

Finding signs of water damage in the basement can be devastating. This should, however, not kill your dreams of owning a house. There are several solutions available to keep the basement from further water intrusion. However, before you ignore the signs, you must ensure you are not dealing with a major moisture problem.

Ask the right questions and check the disclosure

Homeowners are required to disclose all the information that pertains to water intrusion or water damage in the basement. There are, however, some caveat emptor. This means the seller doesn’t need to disclose defects to a property when engaging in a real estate transaction. In this case, you will need a home inspection to help you know if the house you are targeting has a leaky basement. Here are some checks that will help you know if a house has a wet basement.

  • Does the home have a proper slope?

Most of the water that gets in the basement seeps in through the water that pools around the basement. This is why as a homebuyer, the first thing you must check in a house is how the ground around it slopes. An improper slope will cause rainwater to flow towards the house. In this case, water will pool close to the foundation and eventually seep into the basement, flooding it.

An improper slope is corrected by re-grading or removing the dirt from the foundation of a home. The goal is to make the ground slope away from the foundation of the house. According to recommendations from the Building America Solution Center, the slope should be a minimum of half an inch per foot for not less than 10 feet.

The presence of plants that require a lot of water is also a red flag if they are planted near the foundation. This is because the excess water will seep into the foundation. If you must have plants near the foundation, stick to the draught-resistant ones.

  • Take note of musty smells

Mould and mildew give out a musty, unpleasant smell. If you smell this in the basement, the chances are that the house has a wet basement. This problem will be more noticeable in damp or humid weather. This is when there is a moisture build-up in the basement. The high moisture causes the growth of mould and mildew. Needless to say, mould spores can have serious effects, such as destroyed wood studs, allergic reactions, stains, and damaged drywall, carpets and floor joists.

If you notice a musty smell or mould growth in the basement, the first thing you should do is find the leaks. Basement leaks are mainly caused by:

  • Sweating or leaky pipes
  • Leaky basement windows
  • Water penetrating through cracks in the basement wall
  • Water seeping through the foundation

While channelling water further away from the foundation can solve minor water leaks and seepage, the most effective solution is to install drainage systems. If there are no leaks, but the basement is still wet, the issue might be humidity. Call in a home inspector to test the levels of humidity. This is done using a hygrometer. Humidity levels of 60% will promote the growth of mould. If high humidity levels are causing a mould problem, the installation of dehumidifiers can solve the issue.

  • Check the gutters and downspouts

The purpose of the gutters and downspouts is to direct water away from the foundation of a home. They help prevent the issue of a flooded basement, erosion, damaged siding and damage to the landscape. When the downspout is too short, it may cause water to pool near the foundation. This will eventually cause water to seep into the basement.

You may also deal with a wet basement if the house has no gutters or the gutters are clogged. Gutters need to be cleaned regularly, at least two times a year or more often if your house is in an area with lots of trees or other debris. Gutter guards can keep the gutters from getting clogged.

Damaged gutters will also cause a wet basement when water spills too close to the basement. To reduce the chances of gutter damage, more homeowners are turning to modern seamless gutters. Unlike conventional gutters that have sections that are joined together and are prone to detaching, seamless gutters are a single piece. The system eliminates the risk of sagging, clogging or pulling away from the house.

A good gutter system paired with a downspout extension prevents runoff water from pooling near the foundation. However, complete basement waterproofing may still be needed, even with a good gutter and downspout system. Basement waterproofing is the key to solving the issue permanently.

  • Condition of the sump pump and existing drainage system

Finding an existing drainage system and a sump pump signifies that the homeowner took steps to prevent water and moisture problems in the basement. However, you need to check if the drainage system is in good condition and effective.

Other considerations you should make include checking the condition of the waterproofing solutions and the depth of the water table. Keep in mind that every basement is unique. While it is expensive to solve moisture problems in the basement, it costs very little to get a basement inspection. An inspection will help you know the exact condition of the house you are targeting before you make binding commitments.

The blog post has been provided by Direct Waterproofing. This is the best waterproofing company in Toronto. To learn more visit https://directwaterproofing.ca/.   

Other articles from mtltimes.ca – totimes.ca – otttimes.ca

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