Neglect No More The Basements and Crawl Spaces
Don't be too sure that your palatial mansion with its array of ample-sized bedrooms, bathrooms and balconies will fetch you the riches in the real estate market. You never know when the Achilles heel may surface and put off the buyer. And the Achilles heel in the lion's share of cases turns out to be either the basement or the crawl spaces, two of the most neglected spots in most of the houses.
So before you go through with any sales deed, make sure that you get a home inspector to go through the basement and the crawl spaces. In this way, you can best ascertain the true worth of your about-to-be-sold house or the house that you are about to purchase. And before the inspector is here, it is always worthwhile to know what are the areas where the home inspector might get you cornered.
What Does The Home Inspector Look For In Your Basement and the Crawl Spaces?
Moisture damage is the most prevalent problem in basements and crawl spaces. And to compound matters, apart from that feeling of dampness, moisture conditions give rise to a whole lot of other problems, and some quite serious at that too. The home inspector gets a clear notion of moisture problems in your basement and crawl spaces when he finds
- A wet or damp basement.
- Water marks on the walls and floors.
- The paint peeling off.
- Rusting of the metallic fittings.
These are telltale signs of water leakage in your basement or crawl space. Besides these, home inspectors also get a wind of moisture damage when they spot
- Mildew stains.
- Loose tiles on the floor.
- Rotting or bent wood paneling and doors.
In fact, these are pretty obvious signs and you really don't need a home inspector to come and tell you that something is truly wrong with the area.
However, once you are sure that there is something wrong with your basement, it is imperative that you call in a home inspector and determine the source of the problem. The cause might not be something very glaring and you would need the trained eyes of the home inspector to guide you in this matter.
To get to the root of the problem, the home inspector will definitely consider factors like:
- Cracks in the walls or the floors.
- Clogged drains running underneath the floors.
- Seepages from the roof drainage mechanism.
- Leakages in the plumbing mechanism.
- Congestion in the air conditioner condensate line.
- Discharge from the pump draining back into the basement.
- Seepage from the water supply line in the vicinity of the building.
There can be myriad reasons for the moisture trouble in your basement and it is always advisable to get in touch with a home inspector who will not only get to the bottom of things but will also come up with feasible solutions.
Other Problems With Your Basement and Crawl Spaces
Apart from the moisture problem, a professional home inspector will also be on the lookout for fungal and insect infection. Fungal growth is a common enough problem in basements, and especially in the ones with inadequate ventilation. And you can be sure that your home inspector will look very closely around the foundation walls for insect attacks. If your home inspector is meticulous about his work, he will also check the piers, columns, joists and sill plates.
Improper heating mechanisms are the bane of many basements. But thankfully, home inspectors are usually very finicky about the heating arrangements in basements and crawl spaces. They want everything in order and everything according to the accepted standards. To elaborate, your home inspector will check whether the amount of insulation is adequate for the given space or you will need additional measures. He will also check whether you have the requisite number of vapor barriers installed to prevent any untoward incidence.
Little But Big Things That The Home Inspector Will Look For In Your Basement
There are sundry things, apparently trivial, that the home inspector will definitely like to have a look into. For these are matters important enough for him. So when he visits your home, you will find him:
- Searching for the main electrical panel box in the basement and ensuring that the branch circuits are properly installed and also that the right type of wiring has been used.
- Checking the main support columns and posts, the pivotal beams and the load-bearing walls.
- Ensuring that the crawl space is sized big enough for a person of average built to enter.
- Ensuring that if the crawl space houses any machinery, it is easily accessible for maintenance purposes.
- Checking the pipes of the main water supply line.
- Ascertaining that the overall pattern of the HVAC distribution system is correct.
There are a thousand and one things in your basement and crawl space that need a checking or worse, can go wrong. So it's high time that you get hold of the services of a professional home inspector who can go through every nook and cranny of the area and ensure that you have a safe and hygienic place to show off.