The number one culprit for causing water penetration into the basement of a house is rain gutter downspouts discharging rain water right alongside the foundation. All downspouts should discharge the water at least five feet or more from the foundation.
This video is showing mold growth and staining in a split level basement ledge of the exterior wall. The basement was finished off about a year ago, with the mold and staining starting within the last two months. The owner pointed out this problem during the home inspection and asked me if I could help to figure out the cause. This wall was the only one in the basement that had this problem. All other areas were dry at the time of the home inspection.
In this HomePro home inspector video you will see an example of mold in a basement of a relatively new home. The mold and high moisture was confined to the surface of the front wall of the basement.
Your home inspection has turned up mold in your home and now you have questions. Is it possible for me to get rid of it, or do you need to call in a professional mold remediation company?
There aren’t many things worse than walking across your basement, and suddenly getting your feet wet. Maybe the kids spilled something on the carpet or Fido had an accident. Then you realize there is a lot more water there than either could produce.
When a basement wall starts to crack, and those cracks open up horizontally, it can be a sign that the wall is being pushed inward. Many times the horizontal cracks will line up with the frost line in the outside soil.
Even if you are not in a flood zone, it is wise to invest in a sump pump. Anyone remember the summer of 2007 when we had about 13 inches of rain in a day?
The sump pump protects your home from groundwater forcing its way down through the soil into that hole in the ground we call a basement. A drain tile system below the basement floor will channel water into the sump pump basket. When the water level hits the float in the sump basket, the sump pump lifts this water to the surface outside or into an underground storm sewer pipe that drains away from your home.
The sump pump and drainage system is separate from the sanitary sewer system that drains waste water from your home to the septic system or to a sanitary sewer treatment plant. Your sump pump should not discharge to the sanitary sewer.
During the home inspection, a home inspector will look for indication of water in the sump basket, and will test that the sump pump operates. Test your sump pump every few months. Start the pump by adding water to the sump basket or by lifting the float. The pump should start when the water is 8 to 12 inches below the basement floor slab. The water in the sump basket should be clear, without roots or debris. Watch to be sure the pump removes water from the crock.
The pump may have a float on the end of a rod or wire. Be sure the float operates easily and can't rub against the sump basket or the cover. If the float sticks, the pump will not run, and your basement could have some flooding.
If the pump is older and worn, rusty, or noisy, it should be replaced. The pump should be securely mounted in the sump basket. The power supply should be from an outlet, not an extension cord, and the plug should be securely fastened to the outlet.
If the pump runs more than several times per day or runs often during heavy rain, you should have a spare pump or even a second pump mounted in the sump basket. The second pump could have a float set for a higher water level so that the second pump only runs if the first pump fails. If you live in an area in Southeastern MN where the electrical power fails during storms, I would consider a battery backup for the pump system.
You might also want to consider installing an alarm that will alert you if the sump pump fails. This could save considerable damage from flooding that could result from this failure. Options range from expensive home alarm systems to a simple battery-operated water alarm. You can pick up a water alarm at your locat building supply center.
The Water Detector is a palm-sized unit operated by a 9-volt battery. When in contact with water, it continuously emits an alarm for up to 72 hours. The unit will float and continue to sound an alarm during a flood.