Basement Seepage - Indianapolis Home Inspectors Perspective


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Rob Rehm Indianapolis Home Inspectors perspective on wet basements

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Basement Seepage - Indianapolis Home Inspectors Perspective

  1. 1. Our View of Basement SeepageP E R S P E C T I V E S Given the right condition, any basement can leak. No one can predict if a basement will leak in the future, and in many cases, its not even possible to tell if a basement has leaked in the past. Basement seepage is the result of water concentration along an exterior foundation wall - which then seeks an entry through foundation cracks. Its important to eliminate the cause, not just seal the entry point. Over time, neglected moisture intrusion problems can create significant structural and indoor air quality problems. However, the majority of wet basement problems can be eliminated, or at least reduced to a tolerable level, by improvements to exterior grading and proper performance of gutters and downspouts. The most common cause of wet basements is poor surface and roof drainage. In fact, our experience indicates the vast majority of wet basements are simply caused by surface rain water from improper drainage or slope. Keep in mind, a 1,000 square foot home with an attached garage will have over 1,100 gallons run from it in one-inch of rain. Thats a tremendous amount of water. Imagine a downpour on a home with blocked gutters. Conditions change, foundations move, gutters become blocked, landscape changes, and extended periods of drought or rain occur -- all of which can cause changes in the basement. Wet basements are a major concern -- but shouldnt necessarily kill a deal. While basement seepage is a critical issue, often simple remedies Provided by: are available and are well within the scope of most Rob Rehm homeowners/buyers. Not only do our inspectors fully examine the basement and explore any potential defects, we present this Buyers Protection Group information in a manner that helps our clients keep the issue in Licensed Home Inspector perspective. Licensed WDO Inspector NACHI Certified Homeowner suggestions include: With every inspection, we provide 12 months of our Extended The Best Inspectors. Anywhere. AdviceSM program so your clients always have a direct source for To place your next order, please call information about managing their new homes. For basement 800-285-3001 seepage, we recommend the following before seeking a specialized contractor: w Make sure the land around the house slopes in the right direction. This can require as little as a couple of bags of topsoil or as much as a new driveway. w Pay attention to localized low spots like gardens, window wells and the space between sidewalks and foundation walls. Be sure to check the grading below decks and porches as it is often bad. w Examine gutters and downspouts. Gutters must be sloped properly to drain. Downspouts must be frequent enough (every 35 feet) to prevent overflow in heavy rain. w Look where downspouts discharge.. If they go into the ground, the below-ground portion of the drain may be broken or plugged. This almost guarantees a wet basement in the vicinity of the downspout. w Malfunctioning integral gutters can be very serious. The water leaking out of the gutters usually ends up in the structure, causing rot and other damage. It is best to have downspouts discharge onto the lawn -- preferably six feet from your home. Home Warranty I Home Inspections I Commercial Inspections I Environmental Home Warranty is offered and administered through BPG Home Warranty Company. ©2010 BPG is a registered trademark of BPG Holdings, LLC.