It was the rug folded up and oddly placed in a corner that was a tip off to me that said basement moisture, and the problem might be the neighbor!
It was out of place.
It was obviously put there for a reason.
It was making my antenna go up.
So I pulled away the rug.
What do you know!
Squishy wood trim.
Puckering Pergo, loosely raised up, warped and separating.
And a moisture meter that screamed, "Like it's really wet, dude, you know?"
It was very wet.
Here's the problem - this is the rear corner of a townhouse inset about 12' from the outside corner of the neighbor's property.
There was no reason outside this house for this moisture, and no evidence of an outdoor issue.
It must, then, be coming from the neighbor's basement.
So, what's on the other side of this wall? A wet bar? A leak from their kitchen, which would be just above this location on the neighbor's side? An unknown bathroom?
I don't know, but I don't think this problem originates with the house we were inspecting! But the homeowner must know about it because of the rug.
The smooshy wood has been painted more than once. The Pergo is said to be "recent." So this problem is ongoing.
My recommendation: sometimes a neighbor's house is causing a problem with the house your clients want to buy - a plumbing leak, a drippy hose, poor grading diverting water from the next yard over to your client's house. Trees next door can often be a problem, leaning dangerously toward the house or roots that are ripping up the sidewalk. Any time you have a problem originating in someone's else's house it is ALWAYS a difficult thing to deal with. Beware.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560