Serving Greater Salt Lake City, Sandy, Ogden, Salt Lake City1-801-936-1244
Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 by Casey Petersen
We just bought this house… or we just finished our basement and now it’s wet.
As harsh as it sounds, a wet basement is not a finished basement. When carpet is wet it must be dried or replaced. The same goes for drywall.
Too often people, either a home owner or someone moving into a home, attempt to improve the appearance of the effect of water damage (mold) on building materials and will clean up the surface, repair and paint, and then replace the carpet.
While it looks so much better, the cause of the problem is still there. The water intrusion and dampness was not repaired and it is only a matter of time until capillary movement of water rewets the wall and carpet, or a rainstorm hits and the wetness in the basement is manifest. Because of our dry desert climate we can go weeks, months or even several years between events of wetting but they always return. The cost of having to repeatedly repair a basement is significantly higher than repairing a basement prior to finishing a basement or flipping it and having it come back to the seller.
If one is looking to buy a new house there are disclosures from the seller that are intended to protect the buyer. If, however, the seller is unscrupulous and simply implies that the problem is unknown the buyer is at risk. We have many times opened up a wall that a new home owner purchased that was disclosed as never having had a problem. The paint is new, the carpet is new and the tack strips are either doubled with one bad strip or heavily stained from repeated water intrusion. The joint between the baseboard and sheetrock on the back side are often covered in mold – strong evidence of repeated leaking and water intrusion.
There are many signs of water intrusion that are readily apparent to the trained eye. Before purchasing a home we strongly suggest getting a home inspection and also include a mold inspection. We are happy to inspect homes prior to purchase for no charge. While an inspection is not a guarantee of a dry basement, it certainly helps one avoid the potential problem prior to purchase and keeps the problem with the seller where it belongs.