Would a home inspector write this in the report as an issue?

Originally Posted By: Monica Lyons
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Hi,


Notice in the picture how the dirt comes up to about 2 feet above floor level. The 50 yr old house is cinderblock and has a crawlspace underneath.

Our home inspector didn't mention any possible issues, but I've since learned that the dirt is supposed to be at least 6inches below the bottom of the subfloor. If I'm right (and even if I'm not), will another home inspector bring it up in his report when we go to sell?

I'm curious because I had a drainage specialist out today and he believes he can fix any drainage issues without us having to haul away dumpster fulls of dirt. He wants to dig out a ditch 1 ft below the subfloor, put in a french drain, waterproof the concrete, put all the dirt back and then utilize a sump pump and an automated ventilation system (in the subfloor).

If a home inspector saw the dirt but understood that the drainage wasn't an issue, would the inspector still put it in the report?

Thanks,
Monica
[ Image: http://www.nachi.org/bbsystem/usrimages/w/walnut_creek_house_136.jpg ]


Originally Posted By: Jay Moge
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i can’t realy see to well in your pic. but i think your talking about the grade on the lawn. if so it has nothing to do with were your floor is. the “6” " you may be thinking of is how far the lawn should be from any degradable siding. ie: clap board, cidar, or what ever is on the outside of the house. think about all the houses with a finished basement, they all have about 6 feet of earth from the floor on most of the wall. as long as the rest of the yard is draining ok. i see no issue with the fact that the interior floor is below grade. you worry too much and seems like you heard something somewere, got it mixed up, and now your looking for a way to stick it to you inspector. if this is the case, you came to the wrong forum. besides he may know a little more than you about it.


Originally Posted By: Monica Lyons
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Jay,


Thanks for the response. I'm not wanting to go back to our inspector for anything. We bought the house "as is." I just want to be sure that when we go to sell (in the next two months or so), another inspector won't bring it up as an issue.

You are right about getting mixed up tho. In trying to get a straight answer on our drainage issue, we've talked to several people (including "drainage experts," a structural engineer, and our city's building dept) -- all with different answers. That's why I decided just to get an answer from a home inspectors point of view. If the average home inspector would write it up, then we were going to be more careful about how we go to fix it.

I believe you and I are talking about the same thing, but just to be sure: On a single family home with no basement, are you saying that it's ok to cover up the foundation -- up to 2 feet above the subfloor? If I'm reading your post correctly, you're saying that it's ok because our home is cinderblock.

Thanks!


Originally Posted By: Monte Lunde
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Monica,


To your question "On a single family home with no basement, are you saying that it's ok to cover up the foundation -- up to 2 feet above the subfloor"

Your Statement,
Home has a crawl space,

My answer is YES because "The floor of the crawl space is the subfloor and a crawl space can be 2' to 4' in height (for crawl spaces greater than 4', the crawl space is excavated to a depth for a full basement, most of the time). Just as long as there is a exterior 6" clearance from the top of the foundation wall to grade.


--
Monte Lunde CCI, CCPM, CRI
Viking Construction Services Inc.

Originally Posted By: Monica Lyons
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Monte, Our house doesn’t have an exterior 6" clearance from the top of the foundation wall to grade. That’s basically our problem.


The dirt goes up the exterior cinderblock wall about 2-3 feet *above* the foundation. If you can visualize where the floor level is inside the house, dirt comes up about 2 feet above that (on the exterior). Can we expect a home inspector to bring this up as an issue?

Sorry I wasn't clear to begin with. Sometimes you just don't know enough to know exactly what question to ask. =o)

Thanks!


Originally Posted By: Monte Lunde
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This could be a Yes and/ or No answer.


First the "YES" if the interior wall (Crawl Space wall and Living space wall) shows signs of moisture the Home Inspection will report that.

Now the "No" read Jay's post, this wall could have been designed to have 2' of fill against it just like a Split Level or a basement. Look in the crawl space and if it has a separate wall holding your floor joists then it was design to have fill against the exterior wall.

The lack of the exterior clearance from stucco to grade will be reported by the HI


--
Monte Lunde CCI, CCPM, CRI
Viking Construction Services Inc.

Originally Posted By: Jay Moge
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dito monte. icon_cool.gif


Originally Posted By: apfaff
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Regardless of what a home inspector will say, if you have had a drainage expert recommend and repair they will document and warranty their work. Same with the municipal inspectors advice. They will have more authority on the issue if it comes up. Just remember document everything to satisfy you buyers and all disclosure of recommendations and repairs. Document, Document, Document, Document, Document icon_smile.gif


I don't think any one here can answer the specifics of an appropriate repair without seeing it.


--
Aaron Pfaff
http://www.dedicatedhomeservices.com/
http://www.independentinspectors.org/wisconsin.html

Originally Posted By: whandley
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Hi Monica;


What part of california are you in? How much rain do you get in your particular area? Have you been experiencing drainage problems and or water intrusion issues into the sub area and or living area of the structure? Don't get in a hurry with regard to the french drainage system just yet. In many cases grade correction with proper slope away from the structure in conjunction with a commercial grade full perimeter rain gutter system with down spout discharge properly directed away from the foundation can dramatically improve your drainage equation. Did your inspector note any negative slope and or grade conditions? Did your termite report note any negative slope and or grade conditions and or faulty grade conditions? Did either of them note any soil erosion, water channeling and or excessive moisture issues at the sub area? Was any foundation spalling and or efflorescence noted at the sub area by any inspector? Do you have any pictures? Sounds like the rear portion of your structure is subterranean into grade. The fact that your interior floor elevation is below the exterior grade is not an issue as long as the grade is not in contact with and or within 6" of the wood framed portion of your exterior wall. The masonry foundation wall is porous and will need assistance via drainage and waterproofing to prevent water migration into the structure.


Originally Posted By: jlovelace
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Monica,


You are right! I believe this is definitely an issue if the grade is 2 feet above the floor height since the floor system is more than likely wood. The wood wall framing and insulation is also susceptible. This seems to be a classic example for water intrusion into the structure. Water intrusion over extended periods of time can lead to rotted framing, mold, termites, etc. I would report this as a big concern if I were performing the inspection. I would consider removing the dirt and completely eliminating this condition, not installing new questionable systems that may or may not be effective. Re-grading and hauling dirt away from the site may even be less expensive. Good luck.