Eight years ago I did an inspection on a new construction that I thought might have future water issues. I recommended better grading and extending the downspouts. After the recent very soaking rains, I got a phone call which said, "We should have listened to you three years ago. Can you come back over?"
Wait, didn't I say I did the inspection eight years ago?
I did. And three years ago we had a similarly soaking rain. They called me then too. There was some moisture intrusion into the house, in this corner!
This is the innocuous corner in question, from outside.
They had me come with my thermal camera to evaluate it.
Given the amount of rain three years ago, not a lot of water entered the house. But even then I could see that natural settlement around the house was encouraging water toward this corner of the house.
I recommended that they cut this downspout off about 15" or 18" high, and curve it around this corner of the house, running it all along the rear of the house to the other side, where it would discharge harmlessly onto the driveway. Even one of those plastic caps over the window well would not hurt, even though there is drainage inside it carrying water to the sump pump.
They did nothing three years ago.
Then the recent rains happened, dumping 6" - 8" on the area, depending on where you lived.
Measuring the roof, I calculated that those rains dumped 1500 to 1700 gallons of water down this particular downspout.
The photo above makes it difficult to see, but more settlement in the five years since my previous visit literally pools water against the house.
And it came in. They cut the carpeting in that room, used as a bedroom, to try to dry it.
Looking at that bedroom wall, this is what the camera detected just under and to the left of the receptacle above. It was the wettest spot in the wall, a week or so after the heavy rains.
While water did get in and soak the carpeting, I think it was a remarkably little amount of water given the amount of rains!
BUT WATER IS WATER. IT MUST BE ELIMINATED. MORE THINGS HAPPEN OVER TIME THAN SIMPLY GETTING WET. THERE IS UNHEALTHFUL MICROBIAL GROWTH TO DEAL WITH.
So I am confident that rerouting that downspout will go a long way toward solving this problem, if not eliminate it completely.
Banking the soil and regrading should be done also. Along with the plastic bubble. I am not so in favor of the bubble as the window well has draining and the bubble is ugly!
My recommendation: simple things can go a long way toward solving an ongoing problem. And a suggestion by your home inspector might go a long way too! Trying his recommendation(s) might also go a long way toward reducing stress levels! While he might appreciate you calling him back time and again, you don't really want to do that, do you?
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560