Looking For A Solution

I was at a house yesterday and in the garage there was only 13 feet from the garage door to the stair guardrail and stairs leading to the basement. The only cars I know that would fit would be a Daewoo, An Old Chevy Chevette or a horse.Our SUV is 15 feet long. Most people around here have larger cars (SUVs) compared to compact cars. Is there anything that can be done besides filling in the whole stair well with concrete?? Thanks Rick



Can’t a metal plate be installed over the area. So that it can be lifted if access to the basement is needed? Just an idea. Always mention to get it done by the proper licensed tradesman. Just an idea…but is that mold I see on the walls?

Russell, The entire basement is covered in mold. The moisture levels were so high that I had to blow my nose three times down there during the inspection. A lot of the mold spores was the type that was on top of the sheetrock like charcoal dots waiting for a breeze to carry it to the next spot. I put gloves on and made sure that I did not brush up against anything. The whole basement needs to be gutted with a mold remediation company. The house has been vacant for 6 months. All four outside downspouts are going into the ground and the pipes are probably blocked. Grading was okay. When I got home, I stripped in my garage, washed my clothes seperate and took a shower. Then cleaned the seat in my truck. Rick

DAMN…sorry to hear that…I have been on a few where I had to wear a respirator…If I didn’t I would have puked.

I hope you go and get yourself some kind of face mask before you do anymore inspections where you are exposed to high levels of mold. Your lungs can not take that kind of abuse and before long you can develop some serious long term medical problems. Attics, crawlspaces, old damp buildings are breeding grounds for all kinds of nasty things and you must protect your health if you intend to do this for any length of time. I use several types but my favorite is the Neo Mask. Lightweight, extremely effective and fairly inexpensive, but do get something, seriously.:shock:

Ok, just filling in the stairwell with concrete would NOT be a good idea. That would be adding a lot of weight in a small area, which could cause vertical settlement issues. Further, the walls along the stairwell are concrete block and might not be able to take the lateral forces applied against them, causing them to buckle outward.

You did not say whether you are buying or just inspecting the property. If you are buying it, get an engineer to design a fix if you want more space. If you are inspecting it, simply point out the information you included about the limited space. Far too often, I see inspectors recommending fixes, despite the fact that doing so is NOT part of the NACHI SOPs. The job of an inspector is to identify problems–not offer fixes for them. Going over that line puts an inspector in a very litigious position.

Now, about respirators, I agree that respirators might be warranted in moldy areas. However, do you guys know anything about respirator fit testing? Different respirators fit different people in different ways. If the respirator does not fit properly, the wearer may be getting a false sense of security because the respirator could be leaking. And, I am talking about the cartridge respirators. The disposables found in most hardware and building stores should not be used in situations where exposure is critical. They don’t provide anywhere near as good a fit as the cartridge types. Before someone quotes the N95 rating to me, that rating refers to the material and not the fit. Fit can only be determined through a fit test.