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

House wrap or Tyvec wrap is used in every home or building to prevent water intrusion into the building envelope.  In this blog, I will explain how some rehabbers try to deceive home inspectors.

 I was hired for a home inspection in Waukegan, Illinois.  I was told that the home was not a foreclosure or a short sale.  Generally, when I inspect a foreclosure or a short sale there is a large laundry list of issues that need to rectified.  That is not an issue with most buyers who are looking at a bank owned property because they are going into the deal with the idea that there will be numerous issues to do to make the home the way they want it.  Also, the buyers of bank owned properties generally receive a large discount in price for their potential sweat equity.

In the case of the home inspection in Waukegan there were over 120 items that would need to be repaired or replaced.  Generally when I do  a home inspection I spend no more than an hour outside of the home.  When I pulled up to the home inspection in Waukegan I was very concerned with the home’s health.  The home was originally built in the 1940′s and was recently rehabbed in 2008.  What caught my eye was the total disregard for installation of the siding that happened to be “Hardiboard”.   Hardiboard is a great product when installed properly.  None of the connections were sealed at the edges, majority of the siding material wasn’t nailed into the sheathing and the areas that were nailed in were nailed incorrectly.

On further inspection of the siding, I found that a section literally fell off the wall where I noticed that the “Tyvec wrap” wasn’t secured to the wall and there was no insulation between the siding and wrap!  The “Tyvec” wrap secures the home against water entering the sheathing and causing water damage or worse – mold!  The Waukegan Home inspection seemed to start off bad and I thought there would be a chance that the rest of the home would get better.

Boy was I wrong.

Like I said in the beginning of this blog , I found over 120 issues that would need to be corrected.  My client wanted a definitive number on the repairs, so I called a general contractor who came up with over $100,000.00 worth of repairs.  This blog is not meant to scare home buyers,  it’s here to educate home buyers.  If you’re buying a home make sure every area and system is tested and explained to you so that you can be educated on your home.

If  you are buying a foreclosure or a home you think has issues and have question about what to look for contact us at~ www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com

Please leave a comment.  Thanks~ Jim Kolke