While performing a home inspection in Waukegan, Illinois my clients asked me if their new homes basement got water before.  This a very hard question even to the most seasoned home inspectors in the industry.  It is easy to throw a blanket statement out to your clients to appease them.  I want to give them the most honest answer I could come up with.  To do this I must inspect the exterior of the home and the interior of the basement walls withe moisture meters, thermal imagers and with my prior experience to possible inform me of past water inclusions.

When you look at the exterior of a home you want to look at the soil or grass that is touching your foundation.  The dirt or grade should be pitched away from the home.  One of the first reasons you might get water in your basement is from the lack of leaders on your downspouts.  Leaders should be 4′ – 6′ long and pouring on a splash block to allow the earth around the home to absorb the rain water.  If you don’t have these installed and want to know pricing for these issues you can see them at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/repair-replacement-costs.html.

The leaders, gutters and grading are some of the main reasons for water issues in basements.  If these items are in the proper order then the chance of these items being the culprits are very limited.  The next reason for water issues in a basement are due to sewer back up.  Sewer back up is when your sewer literally backs up into your home through a floor drain, toilet or shower drain.  The only way this can be stopped is by having a back flow prevention device built into your sewer system.  These systems can cost any where from $7000.00 -  $15000.00 depending on how elaborate the system needs to be.

The next issues would be cracks or penetrations in the foundation.  Depending on where you are at in the country this could be a big issue. If the basement walls are all drywalled over then the use of a thermal imager with moisture meters is the only way to inspect for possible issues.  If you bought a home recently and the basement was recently painted you could still see past evidence of water issues on base boards, door frames, doors, mechanical systems, piping and more.  You just have to be patient and the answers will come to you.

Hopefully this will help you stop water issues in your basments but if you have more questions you can contact me at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/about-jim-kolke.html.

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke

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