This house in Langley was inspected about a week after a huge rain storm.
Around the exterior I found a number of downspouts that were either broken or directing water against the side of the foundation.
This condition seems minor, but it can be the difference between a wet and dry basement. I recommended the owner extend the above downspout away from the home by six feet, or install a splash-block to divert water away from the foundation.
When we entered the crawlspace, there was a some insulation lying on the ground that was wet – a big red flag.
The crawlspace opened up to a nearly seven-foot “basement”. However, note the high water mark and standing water around the deep end:
Even seven days after the last rainfall, there were still several inches of standing water. I also found a large (1/4″) crack in the concrete foundation wall which appeared to be moving, probably due to the water ingress issues.
Wet basements can be caused by poor drainage, bad grading (slope of ground above), underground streams or high water tables. In this case, we discovered that the home originally was designed to have a full basement, but was changed to a half-crawlspace due to city restrictions. However the buried perimeter drains in the basement area were kept at the crawlspace depth, well above the footings. Water was seeping in below the drain tile.
The client saved a considerable amount of money by having a quality home inspection performed, prior to purchase.
Author David Fairbairn is a certified, licensed home inspector serving Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. He has been featured in the media and has contributed to "24" Newspaper, and Global TV. He has spent years working with residential and commercial building projects, and holds a Power Engineering License in BC. Why not give him a call for your next Home Inspection? Call 604 395-2795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!