Purchasing a perfect home is a very difficult task these days and especially when you are planning to purchase an older home. There are many problems detected in old homes and the most common problem is water issues in the basement. Since basements are usually built closer to the water table, it usually remains damp and wet causing further problems. Thus a professional home inspector inspects the basement properly so as to rule out the possible issues that might cause major problems later.
What does a home inspector look for when inspecting your basement?
Mildew odor: A musty or stale odor is a sign of hidden water in the basement. It leads to growth of unhealthy mold and mildew. The accumulation of mold in produces musty odor which proves that the basement is not dried out properly. To eradicate this odor it is necessary to clean and dry the walls, the wooden work and other material present in the basement. Mold causes some serious health risks too, like allergic reaction and breathing issues.
Peeling of paint and water stains: Basement walls that are wet can lead to peeling of paint and can cause wet stains. Moreover the baseboards can swell or floor tiles might get loose causing further problems like water seepage. If the carpeting is done on the basement floors, it gets soggy proving the presence of moisture due to water under the floor. The home inspector checks the window casements, window seals and seals around the door of the basement so as to rule out any possibility of water entering in it.
Efflorescence or white residual deposit: If the basement is unfinished and there are water leakages, you can check the level of the water by noticing efflorescence or white residual salt on its surface. Though the residue may not pose any health risk, but it is a sign that the foundation has cracks or is faulty allowing water to enter where it should not.
Cracks on or in the foundation: The home inspector checks for any cracks on the foundation of the basement on the inside as well as on the outside. It is easier for the home inspector to examine cracks during summer or spring season. Basements that are finished with drywalls do not expose the cracks or voids, but the home inspector can inspect the crawl space, which gives access to wiring and plumbing under the basement. He can even reach the unfinished spaces for thorough inspection.
The basement forms an important part of your house, so make sure that it is inspected properly. Since it is partly or completely below the ground level, it is necessary to make sure that there is no sign of problem that can prove to be dangerous later.