Foundation Issues Behind Finished Walls

Home Inspector with Massachusetts Home Inspections MA. License#566

infrared in wet basement

If you have a finished basement, any concealed foundation cracks, piping penetrations, crumbling field stone mortar and loose joints can allow small amounts of water into your finished area without you even knowing about it until the problem becomes excessive enough that it seeps right through your walls and into your basement living area, causing very expensive property damage. Your basement foundation walls are closer to any water table around your home, and if this water table is allowed to continuously build up excessive moisture alongside the exterior of your foundation, your concealed basement walls will deteriorate over time, causing expensive structural damage.

The possibility of your foundation cracking, crumbling and deteriorating over time and allowing water to seep, will always exist in homes with basements and crawlspaces. Many of our New England Basements have a reputation for being damp and musty if the exterior drainage system is improperly installed or if the builder failed to install modern waterproofing materials on the exterior portion of the foundation. If the exterior of your home has the proper water proofing materials installed along with proper exterior grading and all roof water is conveyed away from your foundation, your basement can become very desirable. So, the only way to achieve a permanent dry living condition in your basement is to become knowledgeable of any concealed cracks or openings that may exist now (and to what extent). Locating foundation issues early is important, so that appropriate action can be taken before serious seepage's cause major property damage.

My infrared camera will detect the slightest bit of water seepage at cracked or damaged foundation areas that are concealed behind your finished walls. Accumulating moisture along with the warmer conditioned air (from your boiler or furnace) will always have an absolute temperature difference and this difference is clearly visible with my infrared imaging camera. If I do detect any moist areas (or anomalies), I will be saving the images (IR and digital) of the areas of concern so that a professional report can be prepared for your building contractor. They can then use my report as a guide in performing an invasive inspection of the exact location of the area of concern.

Take that extra step today in order to keep your basement maintenance to a minimum. Allow me to thermally scan every portion of your finished basement in order to give you peace of mind knowing that your concealed foundation is doing what it was intended to do. No finished foundation area should be left unattended; unless of course, you don’t mind having a pool of dirty water accumulating in your basement.


infrared line

The corner of this basement looks fine until my infrared camera detects major moisture intrusion from the exterior.



Massachusetts Infrared (Thermal) Imaging




Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA - Eureka, CA
Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA

Good afternoon David, good advice for home owners with finished basements.

Feb 20, 2011 08:06 AM
David Valley
Massachusetts Home Inspections - Methuen, MA
Massachusetts Home Inspections

Thank you Dan. It's amazing at how many concealed issues that I have detected with my IR camera.

Feb 20, 2011 08:17 AM