In this episode of Real Estate 101: The Home Buying and Selling Show, Allan Spisak, of ACISS Home Inspections talks about the most common basement problems and solutions found during a home inspection.
What Causes Leaks and Similar Basement Problems?
Obviously, one of the most common basement problems that can occur involve leaks, but what exactly causes them?
Water can come through even the smallest cracks in your house, and it can be a serious problem. Whether you want to live in the house or sell it, you will need to deal with this.
Another reason for these basement problems is that the older houses were built with stone and brick foundations. The issue here is that this type of foundation was never meant to be waterproof, but rather served to hold up the building. However, as home owners required more storage space, what they did was to dig down to make more room for storage even though the original stone & brick foundation was never actually waterproof.
How Else Can Water Get Into Your Basement?
Since the basement is below grade, if there is water also below the grade, the house is built with weeping tiles in order to direct the water away from the foundation. What sometimes happens is a “subsurface hydraulic pressure”, where water forces its way up from underneath the house and into it.
If your basement have this kind of problem, call a basement specialist to find a way to get the water out.
Additionally, with poured concrete, the material dries out and shrinks. This makes cracks a very common issue with poured concrete foundations. You can prevent this with weeping tiles and membranes, although this is not a 100% sure way of preventing the leak.
How to Deal With Basement Problems in Poured Concrete Foundations?
Typically, with concrete foundations, the contractor would excavate around the wall to fix any basement problems, such as cracks.
However, a new technology, where steel plates with a threaded rod in the center are installed allows the wall to be pulled straight. This negates the need for excavation if it is bowed, although with the more serious cracks, you may still need to excavate.
Horizontal cracks in your basement foundation are a problem that will need your quick attention. This can cause more problems in the future. Make sure to take your home inspector’s advice when he tells you to get a contractor to fix this.
Watch this episode to learn more about basement problems and solutions.
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