Moisture & Efflorescence

I inspected a condo today.

Observed moisture along the base of the wall. It was only on one wall and it isnt a outside wall. This is a wall between the condos and not a ouside wall. Looks like a potential blocked or broken foundation drain.

Also the floor had excessive cracking and it looks like there may have been water intrusion at the cracks from the discoloration on the floor.

My moisture meter didnt detect any current moisture but it sure looks like there was previous signs.

How would you report the condition?


White efflorescence (powder substance) on block wall indicates moisture is in contact with the masonry. This does not necessarily indicate that intrusion will occur. I recommend checking drain lines for proper operation. Also, a water proofing paint could be applied to the interior side of the block if necessary. Efflorescence is found on many homes without water intrusion occurring inside the home. But, it should alert you to the possibility that future steps may be needed.


Steven, The salt deposits are left after the water evaporated.

Dave,was the condo new? It may have been from water entering the blocks during construction.


Actually it was older built in 1974.

Thank you

Efflorescence is indeed a sign of water penetration thru a concrete/masonry wall.

Avoid guessing at things you can’t observe or test (although testing any foundation drains present is well beyond the scope of a home inspection). There can be many more or multiple reasons for water penetration, and current construction standards do not even require drains for all foundations.

Report the conditions you observed, the weather conditions just prior to and at the time of the inspection (probably not the heaviest rains or worst conditions likely), and the potential for active/future water penetration. If the client desires a relatively dry condition they may want to contact an engineer to evaluate the conditions and come up with a plan that will reasonably work.

And remember there are two types of foundations … those that are leaking, and those that will leak:smiley:

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink: