Would you buy a house with signs of dampness-- efflorescence, in basement?

Asked by Dada, 08816 Tue Feb 26, 2008

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Rafi Footerm…, Agent, Edison, NJ
Tue Feb 26, 2008
BEST ANSWER
Sure Deborah,

As I mentioned, this is a common condition and should therefore not be intimidating. There are waterproofing companies that use scare tactics. Eight years ago, one told me that my house was going to fall down. This is an EXTREME EXAGERATION. Needless to say I kicked him out of my house. An ethical contractor told me to save my money as no significant work was needed.

The presence of efflorescence on the walls of a basement (a white powdery residue) suggests that moisture is against the foundation. Common causes of efflorescence and basement moisture are: improper downspout diversion, improper grading of the soil near the foundation, open joints between the driveway and the foundation, improper patio grade, and patio cracks that allow rainwater to seep beneath it and flow towards the foundation. Any or all of these conditions should be evaluated and corrected, as appropriate, to try to eliminate water from resting against the foundation.

Many of these can be corrected with less than $100 of material cost and a few hours of labor. For example, downspout extensions can be purchased for $10 and installed in minutes. Of course others can be more costly, like a patio that slopes toward the house.

I hope that helps.

Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections
732-906-4100
NJ Home Inspector Lic. #076900
0 votes
Gary De Pury, , Pasco County, FL
Tue Feb 26, 2008
If the price was right I believed that I could fix it, I would buy a house with stalactites in the basement.

Gary De Pury
Broker Owner
Bay Vista Realty
Chairman, Communications Committee
Director, Florida Association of REALTORS®
1 vote
Dada, Home Buyer, 08816
Tue Feb 26, 2008
Thanks for your all your replies. I appreciate it very much. Rafi, we spoke on the phone. We have Friday appointment. :-)
1 vote
Rafi Footerm…, Agent, Edison, NJ
Tue Feb 26, 2008
This is a common condition, especially with concrete or cinder block foundations (common in this area). They can be caused by a variety of conditions, many of which are easy and inexpensive to remedy (most often) while others can be complex and expensive. A good home inspector can shed some light on the situation and provide guidance.

I am also certified for mold sampling (common under these circumstances) and have experience specifically in East Brunswick with wet basements. Feel free to contact me for more information.

Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections
732-906-4100
NJ Home Inspector Lic. #076900
1 vote
Jaime Druck, Agent, Mequon, WI
Tue Feb 26, 2008
You should have a independent basement consultant come out to evaluate the basement. A lot of time dampness, efflorescence is cause by poor outside drainage (ie. grading going the wrong way, clogged gutters, downspouts not extended far enough away). A home inspector / basement consultant will look for signs of movement & cracking which are more indicative of a major problem.
1 vote
Buyer, Home Buyer, San Jose, CA
Wed Mar 25, 2015
same question here. going o buy a house. Property inspector brought by buyer's agent said everything was good, few cracks don't worry. But his report was lousy and he missed lot of stuff. Termite report said there was efflorescence, and I look at photos, sure enough there is a 1/8" crack right where there is lot of efflorescence. what should I be doing at this point, get another inspection?
0 votes
Rafi Footerm…, Agent, Edison, NJ
Fri Feb 29, 2008
Dada, Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you were pleased.

Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections
732-906-4100
NJ Home Inspector Lic. #076900
0 votes
Dada, Home Buyer, 08816
Fri Feb 29, 2008
Hi Rafi.. My husband was really pleased that you were very thorough and explained things well.. Wow.. I'm starting to sound like one of those guys in your testimonial page but what can I say.. it really is true. Thank you!!
0 votes
weanona hugie, Agent, Edison, NJ
Tue Feb 26, 2008
Deborah Thanks for asking ...Rafi thanks for responding...I 2nd Deborah BEST ANSWER indeed for Dada

Very informative I will contact you as well for future opportunity to assist my clients with their needs.

Everyone have a great night.

Weanona
(732) 261-0314
0 votes
Gary De Pury, , Pasco County, FL
Tue Feb 26, 2008
Naaaaa.....Too hard to tile over...

Gary
0 votes
Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Tue Feb 26, 2008
Yes but what about stalagmites?
Web Reference:  http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Tue Feb 26, 2008
BEST ANSWER
Rafi,
Can you expand a bit on causes, and common remedies for the benefit of all? I do understand that a professional is needed to inspect and assess, but perhaps you might be able to shed a bit of light on it so it is not so intimidating to buyers.
Tx
Deborah
0 votes
weanona hugie, Agent, Edison, NJ
Tue Feb 26, 2008
Hello Dada,

Yes, I would but as my colleague has indicated below.... after researching the cost and amount of work needed to ensure it was within my means to do so. In addition to me liking the rest of the home as well.

I wish you well.....we are here if you have additional questions

Weanona
0 votes
Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Tue Feb 26, 2008
Hi Dada,

There are many ways to correct this common problem. So yes, I wouldn't have any trepidation about buying such a home if everything else about it was acceptable.

However, it might affect my offering price, depending upon the complexity of the problem and the anticipated expense. So have someone look at it before deciding on how much to offer.

-Marc
Web Reference:  http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes
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