People can live in a house and not notice things. I find that out all the time on warranty inspections. And because of that, on one year inspections - I am looking high and low.
These photos come courtesy my client as my camera was on the wrong setting!
This is your basic water main. It is located in the furnace room.
What I don't see often is this kind of proximity to the main drain stack.
But I always check the water main assembly for leaking, pin holes, damage, and so forth.
Often I have to move things to get to the main! It is blocked.
One thing I noticed on this house was a musty odor in the furnace room. There usually is no odor there.
Moving things out of the way so I could see this arrangement high and low, I saw how they come into the house at the same place. And something at the bottom I have never seen.
Water! And a little mud!
What is causing this? Is it sewage? Well no, the lick test proved it was not. OK, I'm kidding, but it wasn't sewage.
So it must be one of two other things -
1. a high water table percolating up through a hole in the floor slab, a hole that shouldn't be there or
2. a leak in the water main.
And this has been happening for a while because the pressure-treated sill plate, the 2x6" board secured to the concrete slab, was already damaged by moisture. Everything there looked muddy and like it had been there for a while. There was even a little algae. This is certainly a location conducive to microbial growth like molds and fungi.
SO THIS IS A PROBLEM!
Does that protective plastic tube protecting the water main line, which is a glorified hose, extend beneath and slab and all the way to the buried meter? We don't know!
Is the water main damaged? We don't know!
Was the house built on a spring, like my neighbor's across the street? We don't know!
WHAT DO WE KNOW? WE KNOW THIS DEMONSTRATION OF WATER IS A PROBLEM! WE KNOW THAT THIS KIND OF PROBLEM NEVER GETS BETTER! WHAT HAPPENS NOW? AFTER DETERMINING THAT THE WATER MAIN IS NOT LEAKING, A HYDROLOGIST NEEDS TO GET INVOLVED!
Was this the only problem with the house? No, not by a long shot. Was the number of problems found typical of a one-year warranty inspection? No, not by a long shot.
My recommendation: be regular with one-year warranty inspections! Every new home should have one! And these inspections always, always, always require follow up to insure that the problems found are problems no more.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560