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