A major complaint among home owners is the musty smell, dampness and water damage that are signs of a wet basement or crawl space. In this country 60 percent of all houses suffer below ground wetness. Within the first 20 years there is an 80 to 90 percent chance of leakage within block foundations. It is very common to have 2 cracks in new concrete basement construction. This is easily repaired from the exterior.
What to look for
Water problems can happen even in the best constructed homes. A Home Inspector looks closely for any evidence of prior water penetration in your home. The Inspector looks for tell-tale signs such as:
- rust at the base of heating equipment or steel posts
- stains, discolouration, or decay on wood partitions, paneling and wood posts
- damaged floor tiles or mildewed objects and carpeting on the floor
- efflorescence on foundation walls
- rotting wood members
- foundation walls which are cracked or bulging
- evidence of insects
How dampness develops
Dampness develops from three main areas. First, direct leakage is a result of poor ground surface drainage outside the house. Sometimes pipes in poor repair may account for leakage. Secondly, seepage; water can seep through supply pipes, or the pipes in crawl spaces. Lastly, condensation (a result of warm air holding more moisture than cool air) can add to water vapour forming on colder surfaces.
Simple solutions to keep water out
Simple solutions may offer relief from water problems. Listed are a few suggestions for a routine maintenance check around the exterior of your home.