What I'm Seeing Now

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It's A Gusher!

The "Wet basement?  Don't worry, we will keep your basement perfectly dry," companies have the same solution for most everything - canals, with plastic diverters, sending water into a sump pump pit.  That isn't too effective if the source of the intruding water is not arrested.  So, exactly what is the value of this?

Not only has the water coming in from OUTSIDE the house not been controlled, but the water coming THROUGH the basement was has not been either!  You can see it coming over, through and around the concrete blocks on the wall!

This untiringly-fun crawl space has been getting wet for so long, it is literally full of mud!  And leaves, grass, flowers and sticks...

Someone decided long ago to "open the space up" and remove the angled support wall against the foundation.  When they did they seem to have opened a teensey hole in the wall at the same time.

Maybe it didn't leak at first, but it sure did later! 

There is a heat pump and water heater down there - this water had to be controlled!

Unbelievably, they never opened or used the bucket of special foundation wall sealer seen on the ground to the right!  Who knows?  It may have helped!

Now, did the waterproofing company come before or after that little breach was opened in the wall?

Well, since the (very effective) plastic water diverter wraps around the INSIDE AND OUTSIDE of the corner, it was obviously placed there AFTER the hole, and leaking, occurred!

"No problem sir!  This will fix it! Gaaarooohnteeed."

I am certain this guarantee extends through the life of the house, and into the next owner's fine occupancy.

My recommendation:  before you decide to open up your crawl space (or basement), consult someone who knows what should actually be done! 

Oh, what of the sump pump pit you ask?  It was mud free and perfectly dry!

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 19 commentsJay Markanich • May 22 2010 06:37AM

Comments

Boy I think I have sold that house many times over.  I found it interesting that many of these disaster specialists have different answers to the same problem, of which, all of them cost the home owner alot of money.  We have been hit hard this past Spring in New England.

Posted by Laurie C. Bailey-Gates, ABR, SFR (Robert Paul Properties) about 10 years ago

That is a scary picture. There are some companies that give a warranty  when they water proof the basement.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 10 years ago

In my experience, 90% of wet basements are caused by poor grading around the house. 

Want to know what caused that wet basement??  How about the walled flower bed next to the house?

Want to know what caused that wet basement??  How about the concrete patio, sidewalks and and flower beds that are all sloping towards the house.

If only folks understood simple drainage, water will find it's own level, folks could save a lot of money on phony waterproofing company claims.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Ohhh MYYY!

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."  - Thomas Edison

Posted by Barbara Kornegay, Wilmington NC Real Estate, Homes (REMAX Essential) about 10 years ago

Wow what a complete and utter mess. Water must be diverted away from the foundation always. Good luck with the clean up; looks expensive.

Posted by Tom Priester, Paradise Sharks (Paradise Sharks ) about 10 years ago

Fortunately, this time of year, my GUSHERS are clogged AC condensate lines and nothing quite this HEAVY or FAST!!!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 10 years ago

Laurie - you have?!  Yikes!  This place was fun from top to bottom.  I hope that isn't typical for you!

Gita - I think they all do.  I bet a guarantee comes with this fine job too!

Lenn - you are exactly right!  And, as we know, most everything flows downhil...

Barbara - I couldn't say it better myself.

Tom - my client ran from this house for this and about a million other reasons.

Wallace - it's amazing how that can happen over the winter.  Gee, it didn't do this last September...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

What I tell my clients is water proofing does not exist for basements or crawlspaces. It is water control, but you have to fix the root cause of the water infiltration first. It seems the basement water proofing company that "fixed" that crawl space flunked water control 101.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 10 years ago

Jaime - Sí mi amigo.  The one is no good without the other, and ORDER may be important...

"Root cause" - good one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

Foundations are a major issue here....and we always have a specialist or two ready to help...properly diagnose...suggest the cure....and determine the investment necessary to correct the problem....a crack is not always just a crack...but a leak....ewwwww.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 10 years ago

Well S&D, THAT'S a crack!  It would make the refrigerator repairman proud!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

Nice touch that the electrical panel seems to be right next to the mud hole...maybe they stand on the water sealant can?

Posted by Bill Saunders, Realtor®, www.BillSellsHotSprings.com (Meyers Realty) about 10 years ago

Bill - there was so much illogical stuff here it was amusing!  The panel was rusty and I didn't have to wonder why.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

Jay, the best solution is to to deal with the problem properly at the exterior the way it was not done originally----not from the inside.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Hi Jay, I'm so glad we don't have to deal with basements in SW Florida! Judging by the size of the foundation wall sealer, they'd need about 100 of those to do any good. jay

Posted by Jay Lloyd, Allpro Home Inspection (Cape Coral Florida) about 10 years ago

Jay - As Lenn pointed out, drainage is the bane of homeowners and a topic rarely addressed by builders, landscapers, or homeowners.  Keep the water away from a home and it can't come in.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) about 10 years ago

Charlie - where you been?  Teaching or something?

For sure, this is a problem NOT handled from inside, and the waterproofing companies always seem to don' they?

Jay - at least!  But at best it's a stop gap approach.

John - well, it can, but just not as much.  Around here expansive clay soils will fill with water and the resulting pressure will force the water into the wall.  It's dry now, but you can see the clay color there.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

Unbelievable.  What a total waste of money.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 10 years ago

Reuben - often times those systems are a total waste of money!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

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