basement moisture problems: Basement Moisture Underfoot - 11/10/15 01:56 AM
It didn't take long to find this basement moisture underfoot.
The house is a recent flip, and the agent and buyers had been in it twice before without noticing any moisture whatever.  But it had been raining for a day when we arrived for the home inspection.
Walking down the newly finished staircase I could turn right into the family room or left into the furnace/laundry room.
The family room looked nice!
But at the bottom of the stairs I turned left first.  That's where the action is!
And getting there we all noticed abundant standing water on the tile floor.
Looking carefully at the plumbing, washing … (13 comments)

basement moisture problems: The Culprit - And The Result - 08/10/15 01:56 AM
This is the story of the culprit - and the result.
Culprit - noun - the cause of a problem or defect.  From the old French word culpable, meaning 'guilty.'
Walking up to the house there was a brick sidewalk in front and leading around the garage to a side door.
It was cracked in many places, from settlement.
There was an extra smoosh of mortar in the gap between the sidewalk and step.
And the sidewalk was inclining toward the house.
It had inclined since that smoosh of mortar, put there, ostensibly, to fill the gap from previous movement.
Why that extra mortar?
My guess - a wet … (21 comments)

basement moisture problems: The Clues - 07/24/15 03:49 AM
These are the clues.
The first was a front corner basement room.
The foundation wall and floor in that room were recently painted, likely the day before.
There is a foundation crack filled with caulking.
There is new drywall on the side wall, pictured here, and the other two walls of the room. 
There is new carpeting and paint throughout the basement.  It all smells really new.
The new drywall on the walls in this room were not painted, reason unknown.
This makes a home inspector look further.  Where would you look?
Exactly!  Under the stairs!
Why there?
Because it is hard to cover up staining on the lowest stair riser.  … (17 comments)

basement moisture problems: Water Evidence Everywhere In The Basement. What To Do? - 04/03/15 02:00 AM
My client was not present at the inspection (in the Caribbean on business), and I have to call him to say there is water evidence everywhere in the basement.  What to do?
When we see that the condensation system(s) for air conditioning has been having problems, and it is cold now, we can't determine if it is still ongoing.  We have to make assumptions.
Air conditioning can't be tested when it is cold outside.  It was 36F when we arrived for this inspection.  Testing the AC can break the system.  But also, the AC system has the job of removing condensation from … (11 comments)

basement moisture problems: Basement Moisture - And The Problem Might Be The Neighbor! - 02/16/13 02:22 AM
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 … (43 comments)

basement moisture problems: So, Was There EVER Basement Water Or Was There Not? - 07/11/12 04:46 AM
So, was there EVER basement water or was there not?
My clients have had a history of floods in their house.  Some people seem to attract lightening.  These people seem to attract basement water!
This house is occupied since 1976 by the same people, who are retiring and moving elsewhere.  During their first visit my clients asked if there was ever a flood or other water in the basement.  They have sensitivities and just don't want to deal with it.
They were told no.
Entering the basement "rec room," I noticed minute mud stains in the seams of what looked to … (64 comments)

basement moisture problems: One Structural Thing Leads To Another And Then To Another - 06/10/12 03:09 AM
Structural settlement is unpredictable as to its time frame, but one structural thing leads to another and then to another.
When structural movement is detected it is hard to know if it has happened slowly (in the case of this house for over 40 years) or in the last couple of years if they have been wetter than normal.  My guess is that this particular movement has been slow.
Chimneys can move and this chimney, located right center of the side of this end-of-the-row townhouse, has come off about 3/4". 
Between the chimney and the front stoop is about 20' of … (35 comments)

basement moisture problems: Adding Always Gets To A Sum Total - 10/30/11 04:29 AM
There are times when you pull up to a house and know there will be problems.  And the problems can be predicted in advance of seeing everything.  It's easy to begin because adding always gets to a sum total.

One half of a roof surface   PLUS

 One little downspout, come apart, draining at the front corner  PLUS

 A conveniently, eroded hole, about the middle of the house  EQUALS

 A REALLY, REALLY SMELLY, WET … (24 comments)

basement moisture problems: When This House Gets A Better Grade, I'll Give It A Better Grade - 10/21/11 06:11 AM
When this house gets a better grade, I'll give it a better grade. Why?  Because grading is everything! 
A bit hard to see from this picture, fully one half of this driveway, and all of the front sidewalk, drains water toward the house.  You can see that the front yard is below the driveway AND the street!
This front yard is a bowl.
There has been an attempt to divert water around the front of the house.
But is it working?
The front stoop is a squishy area.  The slate tiles move … (23 comments)

Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) Rainmaker large

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Bristow, VA

More about me…

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Address: Bristow VA 20136

Office: (703) 330-6388

Mobile: (703) 585-7560

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An experienced home inspector's look at current home inspection events and conditions along with his useful recommendations.




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