The goal of this newsletter and the mission of my Company is to give you the valuable information you would not normally receive. My intent is to help you gain the feeling of security when purchasing your home and to ultimately contribute to the entire Industry. A very common issue that is found on inspections is â€œBasement Moistureâ€. I am going to address this issue in a way that will be easy for you to understand. I am not going to get into the science and complexities of soil structure and the nature of water flow, but I will give you the data you want, to reduce fear. Remember, â€œFear is lack of dataâ€.
The most common causes for basement moisture are: 1. Â Â Â Improper or non-existing rain gutters 2. Â Â Â Improper or negative slope grading (soil slopes toward house) 3. Â Â Â Improper, non-existing or defective sub-surface drainage system
Most often if a home owner is willing to neglect rain gutters, itâ€™s most likely that they are not going to be overly concerned with the grading. It may also be quite possible that they just donâ€™t have the knowledge.
What happens is, all the rain water collected on one side of the roof drops in one concentrated area. Sometimes two roofs will connect at a valley producing twice as much water in one area. If you have a positive grading (soil slopes away from the house), most of that water will move away from the foundation. If not, all that water goes down along the sides of the foundation wall and under the footing. In some cases houses are built in an area where positive slope is impossible. Thatâ€™s when a sub-surface drainage system is necessary.
Letâ€™s talk briefly about Rain Gutters. If there are a lot of trees around the house, maintenance can be a bit of a pain in the â€œyou know whatâ€, but (pardon the pun) they may be the Homeâ€™s greatest ally. On many Inspections, I have seen Gutter Systems that were perfectly installed and pitched, except the downspout dumps all the water at one corner of the house and creates One Big issue. Itâ€™ s important to make sure that the water collected is properly diverted away from the house. Sounds pretty simple, huh? Itâ€™s one of many simple repairs that often getâ€™s overlooked.
Remember when you where a kid on the beach, building a sand castle? What happened to your sand castle when the waves hit the shore?............ Your castle eroded. Thatâ€™s what happens to the soil around the house if it is consistently hit with large amounts of rain water. My point is: it gets progressively worse as time goes on. Now, as winter rolls around, any water along the foundation wall freezes and expands. Ice creates incredible force and will push on the foundation walls, creating cracks and displacement. Clay soils will also expand as they absorb water and then contract when they dry out causing differential movement on the building foundation. This too, will get progressively worse if a controlled watering program is not integrated. (we wonâ€™t get into the tech on that now). The good news is, quite often we see the problem before itâ€™s too late. Hence, â€œBasement Moistureâ€. When you see basement moisture with no foundational damage, consider it a gift. There is still time to resolve the problem. Itâ€™s not as desirable as a dry basement but if you have the data, you Â wonâ€™t run away screaming. Letâ€™s go one step further and assume that there are cracks and foundational damage. With a reputable, knowledgeable masonry contractor these issues can be repaired, prevented and/or replaced.
Letâ€™s not disregard a beautiful Home just because it needs some attention.
There are other areas that relate to â€œBasement Moistureâ€ and â€œFoundation Defectsâ€ , such as: Rain Gutter Systems, Plumbing Leaks, High Water Table, French Drains, Transpiration (removal of soil moisture by vegetation), Frost line, Climate, etc. I will address many more topics in future Newsletters. â€œTill then, I hope this helps.
House Detective Strives on being Thorough. â€œThatâ€™s the consistent feedback we getâ€. We leave no stones unturned.
â€œI learned very early on, thatâ€ Some people like the feeling of Risk or Living on the Edge. â€œSome donâ€™t even get an inspectionâ€.
The people who are able to schedule House Detective, go in to their closing with a feeling of Safety and Confidence.