Sherlock Holmes not required - (Brandon, MS inspections)

Home Inspector with Thornton Safety and Inspection, LLC

I enjoy watching Sherlock Holmes movies and I enjoy having to do a little detective work during an inspection. This one, however, did not require much deduction. You know there's a problem when you walk into a basement and see this:


No that is not a new kind of Faux finish.  It's mold!  Wall to wall mold.  Here's another look at it:


It did take some effort (mostly physical) to get to the cause.  I knew that there had to be moisture for the mold to grow, but it wasn't some elusive source as I had hoped.  This was obvious once I stepped onto the soggy shag carpet.

Systematically going around the exterior, I found this drain:


Which collected the roof water and runoff into this broken drainage pipe located in a crawlspace next to the basement:

Broken Pipe

The water was then deposited into this trench running along the basement wall:


Yes lakes are nice, but it's not a good idea to start one under your house.

Comments (15)

Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

Just a smidgen of dampness. Nothing to worry about............

Aug 25, 2012 10:57 AM
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

That had to smell awful too Sean, and couldn't that cause all kinds of health issues?

Aug 25, 2012 06:02 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

I bet the smell gave it away as well.  That's pretty disgusting.                                                                                         

Aug 25, 2012 10:14 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Sean, the sellers had to know they had a mold problem. It going to take some doing to clean all that up.

Aug 25, 2012 11:29 PM
Robert Sole
REM Inspections LLC - Winter Springs, FL

You would think someone would have noticed it long before it got that bad.  Of course the same would apply to many things I see in homes on a regular basis.

Aug 25, 2012 11:30 PM
Kathryn Maguire (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

Ugh!  How can people tolerate that sort of condition?  I am amazed.

Aug 25, 2012 11:43 PM
Sean Thornton
Thornton Safety and Inspection, LLC - Jackson, MS

The agent warned me ahead of time so I put on a respirator before going into the  basement.  There was a strong musty ordor before getting to the basement door.  The story is that the owners just never went into the basement.

Aug 26, 2012 12:25 AM
Sean Thornton
Thornton Safety and Inspection, LLC - Jackson, MS

Mold can cause health problems and some people are more susceptible.  Here is an article that gives an overview: Mold

Aug 26, 2012 12:42 AM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

OMG. whats wrong with people.  I would even touch those golf clubs.  Can you imagine the stench in there?  Yuck.

Aug 26, 2012 01:53 AM
Glenn Gurvitch
My Area Realty - Wellington, FL

Thank you for writing this.  Very good information.


Glenn Gurvitch

Aug 26, 2012 02:00 AM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Was this house empty?  If not the homeowners had to know about this problem long before you looked at it.

Aug 26, 2012 03:44 AM
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

I am SO glad we do not have basements here in Florida!

Aug 26, 2012 03:54 AM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Good work finding the source of the water.  I hope the mold appearance doesn't catch on as a faux wall treatment.  Not pretty.

Aug 26, 2012 04:47 AM
Pat, Ben and Martin Mullikin
M3 Realty - Brookfield, WI

Wondering why the Listing Agent didn't clue the Sellers in on that situation.

Aug 26, 2012 05:26 AM
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

This would cause huge health issues for me!!! Incredible! Thanks for the photos...

Aug 26, 2012 05:58 AM