- Note foundation-wall construction type: poured concrete, concrete block, brick, stone, and so on.
- Check for cracked areas of concrete; crumbled and flaking bricks; cracked, loose, missing, and eroding mortar joints.
- Check for long open cracks that do not line up and have shifted sections.
- Note long, open, horizontal cracks and signs of bowing in the foundation wall.
- Are sections of the structure sagging and no longer vertical? (Consult a professional.)
❍ Inspect all vulnerable wood-support members (sill plates, girders, joists) resting on the foundation wall for rot and insect damage.
- Note floor joists or girders that sag or have notched sections.
- Is there bridging or blocking between the floor joists?
- Inspect wood columns, support joists, and subflooring for cracked sections and evidence of rot.
- Is the ground adjacent to the house pitched so that it slopes away from the structure?
- Are there concrete patios and paths that are improperly pitched (toward the house)?
- Are there basement windows or stairwells that are vulnerable to flooding?
- Do downspouts -have extensions? -discharge against the foundation? -terminate in the ground?
- Is there a sump pump?
- Is there water in the sump pit?
- Is the sump pump operational?
- Is the water being discharged away from the house or to a dry well?
❍ If the structure has been waterproofed, is there a guarantee or warranty available? Did you request a copy?
- Check for areas of scaling, peeling and flaking paint, damp spots, and signs of efflorescence.
- Check construction joints, tie-rod holes, and pipe openings for signs of seepage.
- Inspect wall paneling and base trim for stains, warped sections, and rot.
- Check underside of basement steps for water marks.
- Note areas of rust at base of metal columns and sheet-metal furnace casing.
- Check for dampness, noting musty odors and signs of mildew.
- Check for extensively cracked and heaved floor sections (usually the result of a high water table).
- Record all areas of active seepage and puddling.
- Check joint between foundation wall and floor slab for silt deposits.
- Check for porous areas and signs of efflorescence on floor and around perimeter.
- If floor is covered with tiles, are there swollen floor-tile joints?
- Is there efflorescence between joints?
- Inspect the house trap pit. Is it dry? Is the cleanout plug secure or loose?
- Check for exposed wood-frame members (wall studs, ceiling joists) that are in close proximity to the boiler or furnace.
- Check for large openings between the ceiling and the chimney.
- Is the room adequately ventilated?
- Check for asbestos insulation around the furnace and heating pipes.
- Inspect foundation walls, posts, and wood-support framing for deterioration and signs of water seepage.
- Check overhead subflooring and support joists for insect damage and/or rot.
- Check for adequate ventilation.
- Is this area damp?
- Is there a dirt floor? Is it covered with a vapor barrier?
- Is area insulated? Is insulation loose or incorrectly placed?
- Are there water-supply pipes that are vulnerable to freezing?
- Are there heat-supply ducts or pipes that should be insulated?