What I'm Seeing Now

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In New Construction, This Is Not A Good Sign

When you see water in the basement in new construction, this is not a good sign.  It is very, very important that on new construction water is not encouraged into the house.  Proper placement and grading of soil should encourage water AWAY from the house. 

Obviously this water is not coming in through the door.  It is getting in between the foundation wall and and slab BESIDE the stairwell retaining wall.

Had we done this inspection the day before, since it had not rained in some time, we likely would not have seen this problem!

Why is it happening?

The soil beside the stairwell was not compacted enough when it was first pushed back against the foundation wall. 

As such, a gap has developed somewhere underground.  Water is filling that gap.

So much water has been encouraged into the corner beside that stairwell that it has already eroded the corner, sinking the soil downward.

There could be a big rock down there, and soil was not placed solidly around it and the gaps are already filling in.

Or the soil was simply laid in there haphazardly and it is sinking as water encourages the air out.

No matter what, water has already found its way into the house due to pressure and underground gaps created that have encouraged it to pool against the house, jamming its way in wherever it can.

IT IS A VERY BAD SIGN.

This builder will have to address this properly or it will always be a problem.  The other side of the stairwell is EXACTLY the same!  So what was done in one spot was done the same way in another.  Not surprising!

My recommendation:  for sure, on new construction they are not done with the soil grading.  But what is done when soil is first pushed back against the foundation wall is crucially important to the long-term condition of what rests against the foundation wall.  If it is very loosely placed, or has holes or big rocks, gaps will inevitably develop and that make for very conducive conditions for future water pressure.  Such pressure will force it inside.  These kinds of sinking locations, as you see above, need to be addressed right away.

 

 

 

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 91 commentsJay Markanich • December 05 2011 07:00AM

Comments

What's with the green stain on the lower part of the studs?

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) over 7 years ago

Yes, there definitely are some advantages to doing inspections the day after it rains (or even during the rein).  Water is so unbelievably damaging.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

That is a copper solution sprayed there Ken to control moisture, rot and discourage termites.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I encourage inspections during the rain Debbie!  I think they reveal things not otherwise visible.  Sometimes we have to assume that water is doing this or that based on signs.  But when there's water there already, no assumptions are needed!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I see this every so often with homes. Would it not be code to have the grading right, away from the home? It only makes sense and yet it seems to get by the inspectors. Amazing! Seems like such a simple thing to do if you do it from the beginning, yet one of the most important steps in building!! Good points!

Posted by Diane Grady (Endless Summer Realty) over 7 years ago

I doubt the code addresses it during construction Diane, but even if it does, what they would demand would be some minimum standard anyway.  I would simply prefer to see it done with common sense.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay...nothing more destructive than water and so often, the fix is so easy. 

Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) over 7 years ago

Water is THE killer of houses H&S, inside and out.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay - congrats on the feature! It never ceases to amaze me how many  buyers don't do inspections on their new construction; why should the process be any different? ?

Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) over 7 years ago

Jay, what are your recommends to repair this now? It seems very costly to fix this issue after the fact, but the repair has to be done to prevent additional water intrusion. ?

Posted by Clay R. Seay (Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 7 years ago

With some builders . .is almost like you have to have an inspection at all facets of the construction. . that is just simply "I do not care attitude" 

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 7 years ago

Hopefully if there is a buyer that wants the house that they can get this problem fixed for them.

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) over 7 years ago

That is a good idea to do a inspection after the rain. Unfortunatly it does not rain with some regularity in some areas! I don't think it has rained here in a month!

 

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) over 7 years ago

That walkout is going to leak into the basement no matter what. I hate those exposed outside stairways. The drian at the bottom is usually next to useless. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, it doesn't take long for water to find its way through the structure.

One of my clients should be giving you a call. Give me a call after you speak with them to set up an appointment. Thanks.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 7 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Unless you want an indoor swimming pool, water in the basement is a bad thing (!)  Great post, another reason I am glad that we don't have basements (very rare) here in the Dallas area.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 7 years ago

Jay, 

I love showing homes and having inspections when it rains, as we can see issues a lot easier.  In the last couple years we've had some droughts, which can hide issues with a home.  Much easier to have mother nature helping us get a true picture!

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 7 years ago

And, in as much as they have already started to stud the wall in order to finish it, look for the mold down the road if it'd not corrected

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 7 years ago

Just because it is new, doesn't mean it is right.  Thanks for the information.

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021) over 7 years ago

On a dry day Carol, I would have suspected a problem but would not be able to prove it.  My report would have given a head's up, but that's all I could do.

Clay - I think they need to go down to see why a pocket has developed and fill it all in more compactly.

Fernando - hopefully with more and more inspections they will develop a different attitude.

Chuck - me too.  I hope the builder does not poopoo it as "normal."

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Rosalie - and it had not rained there in a long while.  We timed it right!

They go directly into the sump pump Jim, and clog so frequently.  The lip outside is only about 2" before water can get in and no door is waterproof.

Thanks Michael.  Commercial again?  Leaky foundation?  But I will call you!

Lisa - basements are great.  But it is not a question of if it will leak, it is when.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Michelle - rains help a lot!  Less to assume.

Ed - my point to them exactly.  Now is the time to correct this permanently.

Kathy - hence the need for inspections!  The County can only do so much.  And has so much time.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Nice catch!  You saved those buyers or owners so much future heartache and money with this find.  I am re-blogging this one.

Posted by Coral Gundlach, Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate. (Compass) over 7 years ago

It was fortunate to have the puddle there to point out Coral!  That was not our inspection.  The post I did about the foaming over the fixtures was from our inspection, you should know.

Sounds like you're feeling better.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Copper Spray... that's the first time I've seen that.  I'll bet that's a bit pricey these days.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 7 years ago

Ouch!  That's a definite "get it now" issue.  It's a whole lot harder to rectify once everything is done.  I trust this builder didn't think he was done there. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 7 years ago

By fluke, we had inspection arranged during a spring melt. )Always wondered why the basement hadn't been developed in such a old home), we watched the water trickle in a crack in the basment wall. Yes proper surface drainage could have prevented this!!

Posted by Karen Salmon, Okotoks Real Estate Agent (Royal LePage Benchmark) over 7 years ago

Fortunately(?) it rains a lot where I live...but I am truly amazed at the amount of buyers, and buyer's agents that feel home inspections are not needed on new construction. here is yet another example of how imortant they are.

Posted by Natalie Tarrant (RE/MAX Little Oak Realty) over 7 years ago

It's watered down Alan, but still good enough to protect the wood.  It is a great preservative and insect repellent.

Right Mike.  Piling more dirt on top to incline it is not a proper solution.

Karen - often it is something as simple as that.

Natalie - I have done them for years, pre-drywall and final before the walk through.  My experience tells me that they are a must.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Most interesting subjects new construction and water leakage...Once again, one of my clients who is a second generation builder and who builds superior products comes to mind as I read your post. Also, let us remember that not everything that glitters or that is new...is gold or defect free...thank you Jay

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 7 years ago

Excellent post as usual Jay.  Here's a link to one of the better products I've encountered with regard to water-proofing and wood destroying organisms control.  Works great as a base coat for exterior decks, patio covers, basements, garage door casings, etc...

http://www.epaintstore.com/jasco-00901-1-gallon-green-termin-8-wood_preservative.html

Merry Christmas!

Posted by Will Handley, Certified Master Inspection Services (Progressive Inspection Service) over 7 years ago

Jay, that all looks wrong on so many levels it is hard to know where to start.  With properly installed fill, of the correct kind, there should never be that kind of settlement at the foundation.  I also see no foundation protective membrane/drainage plane.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 7 years ago

Builders, builders, builders....I shall bookmark this post for the next client that decides to skip the inspection on a new build.

Posted by Eric Peltier, Mortgage Lender in Boulder CO (Eric Peltier - Premier Mortgage Group - Boulder Colorado) over 7 years ago

Richie - thank you too!  Water is THE killer of houses, inside and out.

Will - good to hear from you!  How you been boy?  Thanks for that tip.  I love the stuff and have recommended the copper products to my clients for years.

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2525869/before-the-drywall-goes-up-things-must-be-dry-

Charlie - in this case the drain tile is outside the house at the bottom of the foundation and it is draining into the sump pump pit, but there is no sump yet, of course.  So the water sits there.  They don't do membranes here - it is a spray tar or that blue stuff, which doesn't work for very long.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay

I used to sell new subdivision homes back in one of the booms in California. I always had me buyers get a roof inspection at minimum and often recommend a home inspection for some builders. One in approximately ten of the roofs was not installed correctly and one in five of the home inspectors found something serious and often not to code.

I think it is a bit better now, but made me appreciate your post more. cheers cvc

Posted by Curtis Van Carter, Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire (Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group) over 7 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Yeech!!! This is not a good sign for any construction - new or old...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Thanks Eric.  Pre-drywall inspections are incredibly important in the purchase process, as important as the final.  There are so many things to see and understand and when the house is skeletal is a really good opportunity.

Curtis - the roofs here are not usually an issue.  Sometimes flashings, and a ridge vent that is not opened, but not usually anthing else.  There are so many things to think about and see they are very important inspections.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

We don't like sink holes Michael!  And when water gets in, well, that's the end of it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Someone needs to take the responsibility to look for things like this while the home is being built.  Contractors could care less

Posted by Ira Bodenstein, NMLS#: 445143 (PNC Mortgage) over 7 years ago

Yikes, that's not a good sign at all!  Good thing you were able to do the inspection that day and able to see the water.  Too bad it's a brand new home with water already in the basement, tsk tsk.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 7 years ago

Jay, here is "best practice" in these parts

foundation drainage system

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 7 years ago

Buyers think that new construction will be okay - but it should always be inspected too.  Thanks for your post.

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) over 7 years ago

Jay - good thing it rained.  

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) over 7 years ago

Jay,

Noting Charles' photo makes me wonder of below foundation drainage could have/would have taken care of this? Is this possibly an indication that a sump is needed or foundation wall sealants should have been used?

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) over 7 years ago

Not a good sign at all. Nothing kills a house like water.  I'm curious to see what they do to fix it.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) over 7 years ago

oh boy, that doesn't look good. My favorite time to show homes to buyers is right after a good rain.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 7 years ago

Ira - I took responsibility!  Now the supervisor needs to decide what to do about it!

Justin - that was some very fresh water, for sure.  And it tasted good too!

Charlie - you need to write a post about that!  I know a group you should post that "best practice" in too...

Next you're going to tell me you have lots of water around there.

Joy - pre-drywall inspections are essential.  I learn that anew at every one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jack - fortuitous indeed!  Had we done it the day before that would have been undetected.

Brad - nothing like that around here.  There is a drain tile, MAYBE covered with gravel and screening, which drains, hopefully, to the sump pump.

Robert - that I am 50 miles away I won't be stopping by to find out.  The supervisor needs to communicate what was done to the buyers, from whom I will probably hear.

Mine too Cynthia.  It is most revealing.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Doesn't look that good. Again even new construction may have some issues as shown above.

Posted by Robert L. Brown, Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic (www.mrbrownsellsgr.com) over 7 years ago

Jay, good post, well done that would have ugly to find after they moved in!

Posted by David O'Doherty, Clayton NC Homes, Raleigh, NC (Raleigh Realty Inc) over 7 years ago

You say you wouldn't have know about this if it hadn't rained... but I think you still would have :)

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 7 years ago

The only place you should see water in any new construction is in the bathtub, sink, toilet or in your drink.

Good post, thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) over 7 years ago

Jay:

Oh, my goodness, what was the construction company thinking.  Good thing the buyers had you do the inspection and that it was done on a rainy day.  The more I hear about problems with new construction the more I am convinced of the value of a home inspection on these homes

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 7 years ago

Jay, I have seen that on higher end homes in my area.  The last place I thought I would see it would be at a new construction home of a higher end house.

Posted by Steve Warrene, Pittsburgh Real Estate Investment Specialists (Your Town Realty) over 7 years ago

Jay - Yes, it looks bad and is a bad sign, but one we see all too often. During my 4 decades of building I discovered that almost all builders and few landscapers understand the importance of proper drainage. Of course some fail to grasp the basics of proper foundation installation, but that's another issue.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 7 years ago

Jay, grading can be the answer to most water problems, though sometimes it can also be the choice of backfill. 

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Robert - new construction inspections are essential!  Don't skip them.

David - they would have found that one day walking around with bare feet!

Reubs - I would have showed them the dimples (both sides of the stairs) and explained why it could be a problem, but there would have been no water to prove it!  This was very fortunate, for the buyers!  They don't do around here what's in Charlie's photo up there.  Do they do that where you are?

I'd go with all that Anthony!  But not around the house.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Evelyn - it is one phase of the construction process I would never skip, as a buyer.

Steve - and this is definitely a high-end house!

John - around here the common way to compact the soil is with a Bobcat!  Then they just dump soil, and tamp it with the bucket.  Not too strong after that.

Chris - and the back fill here contains lots of clay.  So it is especailly important to compact it well.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I vote for Charles to write a post about the BEST practice in their market too.  Good post, I Re-Blogged it yesterday. 

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 7 years ago

Thanks Maureen!  And thank you very much for the reblog!

And I agree.  Charlie now has a mandate, issued by us.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

New construction is like a first date...this is the best it's ever going to be, so make sure it's good at the beginning. lol.....and get an inspection.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 7 years ago

WOW, that is scary!  How would they alleviate this problem after the fact?  Is it your duty to report this to the builder?  Just curious...

Posted by Jennifer Chiongbian, Real Estate Broker - NYC (Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses) over 7 years ago

Jay , with all the rain we've had this year any water problems should show up . The settlement , compaction & grading may be an issue , but there could be other reasons water is penetrating past the damp-proofing . If it was my foreman's problem , we would dig up the walls & do a thorough inspection now , while it is easy to fix . Thanks for the blog !

Posted by Edward D. Nikles (Ed Nikles Custom Builder , Inc. / Nikles Realty , Inc.) over 7 years ago

It's been a long time since I have had a first date Karen!  Not sure I remember!  But I have had a lot of new construction inspections!  And I agree!

It's my duty to produce a report with my findings Jennifer.  The buyers would then discuss it all with the builder.

Ed - you are right, it is certainly an easier fix now.  I would look at it from the outside too.  But, we'll see what they do!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay - Water intrusion is not good whether it's new construction or old!  Doing inspections on a rainy day is an excellent idea!!!  As for the comment on making sure it's "dry before the drywall is installed" reminds me of a funny story (well, funny NOW).  When Bill and I first started building houses about 8 years ago, I designed a floor plan and took lead on the project.  The foundation and framing (including the roof deck) were completely done.  It's Friday afternoon and, according to my planned schedule, the insulation crew was coming in on Monday morning.  That's when Bill quietly reminded me that I hadn't scheduled a roofer yet!  OOOPPSSS!!   Having to prove myself to the guys, I was determined to stay on schedule.  If I delayed the insulation crew, then I'd have to delay drywall, then paint, then.... you get the picture.  I scrambled for several hours until I found someone who would install the roofing over the weekend.  They did a horrible job and I never used them again but I learned a valuable lesson too!

Cyndi

Posted by Bill & Cyndi Daves, TeamDAVES - Your REALTORS In the GA/NC Mountains! (Hiawassee, Young Harris, Blairsville, Hayesville, Murphy and Beyond!) over 7 years ago

Fer sher Cyndi, not good on any property!  Wow, flow charting works?  Just kidding.  And (what we called "configuration management" in MBA school) well done often you don't have too many trades tripping over each other!  But when you find the guys who aren't busy, you are taking a risk, as you just said!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Sounds like a costly and time consuming fix is in order.  Thanks for the post Jay.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Don't know Gene, but I know it needs to be done now!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Another great post. No wonder you get featured all the time:) I love when it rains during a home inspection. I would much rather have the inspector see the house it rainy conditions so they can notice as much as possible.

Posted by Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070, Opening the Doors to California Homes -East Bay (Golden Gate Sotheby's International) over 7 years ago

I have been inside new construction listing where I called the listing agent to tell them they should get someone over there ASAP, one basement we couldn't see the floor because the whole thing was underwater and another where half the basement was already flooded!  Luckily the builder I work with prides themselves on setting the proper foundation height and geting the grade right ~ a wet basement is such a turn off!!

Posted by Patty Mortara REALTOR CRS | Hunterdon County (NJ) (Hunterdon County Homes) over 7 years ago

When you see the water, does the alarm bell go off telling you to look closely at the rest of the construction?

Posted by The Hollinden Team, Serving the Greater Louisville area (EXP Realty) over 7 years ago

I've had an uncle who had problems with those retaining walls in an exact same situation. Eventually those walls will heave in the winter etc.  Really has to be address or bad news will happen.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 7 years ago

Jay,

This is a great example of a discussion I had with a builder in this area. It focused on how often I do not see proper compaction of soils around the foundation and then the go with minimal grade and bingo you have that exact scenario.

In some cases our soils here may be porous enough to carry away the moisture but when it doesn't... then problems are a coming.

Also it does not rain where Charlie is, he uses hoses to make up stuff ; ) 

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Hi Jay, Definately not a good sign but a sign of the times with builders trying to compete with foreclosures and short sales.

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 7 years ago

Phenomenal information AS USUAL. Thanks again!

Posted by Jayson Holland, Jay Holland (Listings.com) over 7 years ago

Elisa - when it does, that takes away some of the guessing!

Patty - surprises like that must be very fun!  They also likely make for quick visits!

Steve - that and other things might not be connected.  If the house appears pretty well done, this could be an issue created by that sub.  But yes, you have to be careful overall!

Lyn - heaving is a big issue during freeze cycles.  Best not to have water back there!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Don - that must have been a fun conversation!  And my son lives near Charlie and reports that you are right, it NEVER rains in Seattle...     ;>)

Bob - they are selling a different product, but trying to sell it nonetheless!

Thanks Jayson.  Your comments are always welcome.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Dear Jay,

We have some neighborhoods with names starting with Spring.... Usually a good clue that there is water close to the surface. In one of them the builder hightailed it out of the area right after the subdivision was done. Of course, many problems ever since.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) over 7 years ago

Dorte - I have done inspections on houses built on what "used" to be a spring and they do not fair well!  One house I inspected was placed on top of an underground creek and it had problems too.  It's hard to evaluate underground water sources, but they can't ever be helpful to foundations!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Great post and good pictures. It's definitely not a good sign if you are already seeing water in what's built of the house so far. You may have caught it in good time!

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) over 7 years ago

We caught it at the best time Sylvie!  Right after a big rain storm.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Congrats on the feature.  I see this every so often too and it upsets me when I hear "its no big deal."

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) over 7 years ago

I've heard that too Debra, and it remains a problem for many years.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Yes, we have foundation drainage systems in my area, but they're not nearly as fancy as the one in Charles's photo.  I'm having a hard time understanding his photo.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 7 years ago

Maybe those things are what the downspouts discharge into Reubs.  I don't know!  But it sure looks neatly placed.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

a little attention to detail goes a long way in constrcution...yet so many ignore simple solutions in real estate construction...grading should not be a such an ignored aspect of construction

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D (TimeshareLawyers.pro) over 7 years ago

And yet it is Paddy.  The inclination is one thing, but sub-surface compaction is biggie big too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Yikes, not a good sign at all.  We once had a new construction home that had no hot water pipes piped through it.  The inspector found it and the builder had to go in and repipe the whole place.  Oops! -Kasey

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com) over 7 years ago

Kasey - you found an oldie but a goodie!  How could that possibly have gotten through!?  Here both sets of pipes and the drain lines need to be filled with water for 2 days before the County will sign off on the house.  And a pre-drywall inspection, which I highly recommend, will see something like that.  The builder's supervisor is supposed to be on site every day with a flow chart showing what will be done when!  And it takes a home inspector to find this?  Wow, that's about all I can say!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I am finding that builders in our area are doing everything possible to avoid a situation like above...water in a basement or any other area of new construction is a big problem!

Posted by MaryBeth Mills Muldowney, Massachusetts Broker Owner (TradeWinds Realty Group LLC) almost 7 years ago

As they should MaryBeth!  As they should.  Water control from the very beginning must be a forethought for if not it will most definitely become an after thought!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

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