Basements & groundwater control

The importance of contemporary building science is often fully appreciated after the occurrence of building performance problems. As home inspectors the ability to identify potential building performance problems is an asset.

Basements & groundwater control. The fundamentals of groundwater control can be dated back to the time of the Roman empire. Up until recently, within the last 60 plus years, a building’s basement was not meant to be a considered habitable space. Basements were used to store items, house the homes equipment. I remember the term cellar used when I visited relatives in New Brunswick in the 1960’s.

When you inspect basements, do you apply home sciences? What tools do you use. How do you assess basements and come to your overall conclusion to explain your findings in the report.

Looking forward to any replies.

BSD-103: Understanding Basements

Unfinished basements in the Seattle area are always a treat to inspect. There’s alot to consider, moisture is usually in the fore front of concerns. From there it trickles down to movement, cracks, rot, type of foundation, drainage(downspouts, foundation,etc), slope, seismic retro fitting, waterproofing, etc.

Alot of the items above apply to finished basements. Site drainage and foundation drainage/waterproofing are a must. Since we can’t see alot under ground and behind sheetrock I always recommend my clients inquire about receipts and permits. Most of the finished basements I come across are recently done to maximize sale price.

Basically keep the water away and if any gets close, have some back up.

I pretty much explain my findings just like anything else. In simple terms the client can understand.

Morning Jeff.
Montreal, like Seattle, basements can be prone to water infiltration.
May I ask, what tools do you use to track / measure moisture related concerns in basements. How do you identify problems, suspect or visable, current or past?

How do you narrate concerns?

Looking forward to your response.

I have a thermal imager and moisture meter for finished basements. Typical signs for unfinished. Effy, staining, cracking, bowing, etc.

Disclaimer at top. We can’t see what we can’t see. Pretty much any old house is going to have some past moisture intrusion imo.