Today there are quite a few real estate opportunities throughout Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Savannah, and surrounding areas. With attractive mortgage rates and a shortage of homes on the market, it’s a great time for making sound investments and helping families find their dream home.
However, a dream home can quickly become a nightmare for all concerned if the basement is prone to flooding or has structural issues. Here are six steps we recommend you follow to identify basement issues as well as what to do about them.
1. Structural Inspection
A home’s foundation is just that, the structural support for the entire house. If anything starts to shift or move, it’s going to be reflected throughout the house. That will show up as cracks in exterior brickwork or on basement walls, or a tilting chimney. On the inside, look for titled or sagging floors, bowed basement walls, sticking doors, and cracks in the ceiling and interior walls. If things look questionable, call in a foundation repair professional.
2. Water Damage Search
When reviewing the basement keep an eye out for musty smells, mold and mildew, bowing walls, damp floors, or even standing water. Basement windows can also be damaged, and as a result, cause leaks. It’s best to fix any cracks that are the source of leaks and even better to install an interior drainage system, sump pump, and dehumidifier. Basement waterproofing professionals can offer further insight.
3. Insulation Review
As energy costs rise, it becomes imperative that we take every step possible to improve energy efficiency in our homes. That begins with insulation. In your home review, look over the attic to make sure it has sufficient insulation and add any needed to bring it up to a high enough level. In the basement, waterproof insulating panels are just the thing to provide insulation and seal against water. HVAC ductwork can also be leaking heat or air conditioning cool air. They may need to be replaced with better insulated material.
4. Pest Inspection
If you find moisture in the basement, there are more than likely pests, including ants, termites, spiders, and even rodents. They make their way in through the same cracks that let in the moisture. Plus, they are attracted by that moisture. Look for any nests, tracks, droppings, and the critters themselves. Here’s where an exterminator can be helpful. Plus, you’ll want to seal any cracks you find.
5. Basement Appliances Testing
Any flooding in the basement is going to affect everything at floor level and up. That includes the washer and dryer, the water heater, and the HVAC system. Look for a high-water line on the appliances and the walls that indicates the highest level of any recent flooding. Also, look for rust damage throughout the basement including the electrical circuit box. Technicians can test the appliances and electrical system to ensure everything is working. Or they can build a required repair list. Note that this can be a major electrocution safety hazard.
6. Outside Water Drainage Review
Unless you find leaky plumbing in the basement, any water there is coming in from the outside. That means that water is pooling around the foundation, building hydrostatic pressure, causing cracks, and entering the basement. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear and routing water away from the foundation. The landscaping also needs to slope away from the home to facilitate this outward flow of water. A gutter and downspout specialist can help correct any issues. Landscapers can take care of any needed grading as well as the shrubs and trees that might be encroaching on the house.
We Can Help
As you consider any basement issues in properties you may be considering for investment, contact the professionals at Mount Valley Foundation Services. We can provide a free inspection and repair estimate.