This is shared space. Not only do these townhouses reside side to side, but, being condos, one resident lives upstairs and others downstairs in the same townhouse.
No matter what the building style, inundate a foundation with water, and what do you get?
I calculate these two roofs together to be about 850 square feet.
Why is that relevant?
Look to the right. Because they both drain to the same place.
When it rains 1" of water on 850 square feet, that translates to about 530 gallons of water.
Last week we had between 6 and 8" of rain. That's 3180 to 4240 gallons of water!
That is a lot of water to drain to one spot!
And where does the water go? Into a well! Beside the foundation.
The photo looks at the bottom of those two downspouts above.
Right beside the basement unit.
That little black thing on the lower left is the other end of the drain tile attached to the downspout on the left.
It has come loose from the drain the condo association is present inside this well.
What does this water affect?
A concrete block firewall extends to the left of those downspouts. It runs to the rear of the building and frames the common storage area for all those in this row of townhouses.
We walked in to have a look at it.
Immediately we were overwhelmed by the odor of mold!
And why not? All that water is creating what mold inspectors call a "conducive condition!"
This is one wall inside that storage room. There are more. Each looks like this wall below.
The mold on the drywall is obvious. Look at the wood furniture on the lower right. It is covered with mold.
Looking around the room, everything in there that had not been touched in a while, and is organic, is similarly infested.
The association says the front water is drained away.
I think the intention is definitely TO drain it away.
But is it?
I only stayed a couple of minutes in that room, which is quite large. It is probably 22' x 35', and divided off sectionally.
There is no ventilation.
The air is stale and humid.
The walls are wet.
The microbial growth is happy!
My recommendation: as water is THE killer of houses, inside and out, draining it must be handled in a way that is surely known, evidently working, and without effect. HOUSES DON'T MAKE VERY EFFECTIVE BOATS!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560