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Water Penetration

  • Signs of water penetration can be white mineral salts on the concrete walls and floors. This is called "efflorescence" and is caused by water seeping through the concrete and then drying on the exterior portion leaving the white, mineral salt from the cement as a residue.
  • Most lower level areas will get some minor efflorescence on the lower portion of the walls and floors due to normal humidity in this area because it is underground. It is recommended that you use a dehumidifier to help prevent moisture in any lower level areas.
  • Sometimes in the corners there may be indications of water stains. Often this is caused by the lack of gutters and downspouts on the house or downspouts that drain right next to the foundation walls on the exterior. All downspouts should be piped at least 5 feet away from the house so the rainwater will not drain next to the foundation and then enter the lower level of the house. Sometimes the downspouts drain into underground drainage lines. These lines can become clogged due to leaves or a small animal getting stuck in them. Gutters, downspouts and underground drainage lines need to be checked periodically for proper operation.
  • The grading of the soil next to the exterior of the house can also cause water stains on the lower level walls and floors. All soil next to the foundation should be slightly sloped away from the side of the house to help prevent rainwater from entering the lower level.
  • There are (y/n)__________ signs of abnormal or excessive water problems in the house beyond normal humidity and condensation stains.
  • The accessible wood members that are in contact with the floor, such as, workbench posts, storage items, etc., were probed to reveal any rotting conditions or evidence of abnormal or excessive water penetration. The wood members that were spot checked are in (G/A/F/P)_______________ condition and did (y/n)__________ have signs of abnormal or excessive water penetration.
  • There is (y/n)__________ a sump pump located in the lower level. These are small pumps that help carry water away from the house. Sump pumps are located in small pits dug into the lower level floor and have a drainage pipe to carry water to a more desirable location.
  • The sump pit walls are in (G/A/F/P)_______________ condition. Any "do-it-yourself" or other unprofessional installations need to be repaired by a licensed contractor. There was (y/n)__________ water inside the sump pit at the time of the inspection. Any water in the sump pit indicates that the area has a high groundwater table and that there is a potential for water to enter the lower level of the house.
  • The sump pump is in (G/A/F/P)_______________ condition. The pump did (y/n)__________ operate properly when tested at the time of the inspection. The sump pump is (y/n)__________ plugged into an outlet with a GFCI for safety. The sump drainage line does (y/n)__________ have a required backflow preventer. This is a check valve inside one section of the line to help prevent the drainage water from flowing backwards towards the sump pit after it is pumped out. The sump drainage line does (y/n)__________ discharge the water at least 5 feet away from the exterior foundation of the house. This is required to prevent the water from flowing back into the sump pit after it has already been pumped out from the lower level of the house.
  • It is highly recommended that you check the local building department to determine if the subject property is located in a designated flood hazard zone. A "flood hazard zone" is an area where the government has determined that there is a potential of the area becoming flooded from time to time. Flood maps are located in every town hall and are available to the public to view. If a house is located in a flood hazard zone, then the homeowner should obtain flood hazard insurance in addition to normal homeowner and title insurance policies.

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