Rochester MN Home Inspection Company Discusses Wet Basements

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.

Mold Growth On Basement Woodwork

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.

Rochester MN Home Inspector Explains Radon Mitigation System

In this video, the home inspector explains the components of the Radon Mitigation system that is installed in his home. Starting with the sump basket, up through the attic and onto the roof. This Radon Mitigation system lowered the Radon in this home from 11.6 pCi/l to 0.8pCi/liter.

Garden Hoses Pose Potential For Frozen Water Lines

Leaving garden hoses connected to external water faucets can result in frozen and possibly split water lines. At this home inspection in Rochester MN, I came across two hose faucets that had garden hoses attached to them. These hose faucets are the Anti Freeze/Anti Siphon type and are designed not to freeze...provided you remove the garden hoses.

Rochester MN Home Inspectors Disclose Steps To A Dry Basement

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.

Rochester MN Home Inspectors’ State Of The Art Radon Measurement Equipment

The ONLY way to find out if your home has high Radon levels is to have your home tested.50-60% of all homes tested in Rochester MN and Olmsted and the surrounding counties exceed the EPA’s recommended action level of 4 pCi/L. Nationwide, 7% of homes are estimated to have high Radon levels. Levels can vary widely even from home to home in the same neighborhood.

Home inspection finds Power Strip On A Wet Copper Line.

During a recent home inspection I came across a power strip that was being used as permanent wiring. The power strip was twist tied and duct taped to a water line supplying an external hose faucet. The home owner was watering the lawn that day, the Air Conditioning was off and it was moderately humid.

Rochester MN Home Inspection Company Shares Sump Pump Basics

Sump Pump

Sump Pump

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.