Inspector Protector Home Inspection Services has seen the aftermath of basement flooding in many homes we’ve inspected. Moisture seepage is a very common problem in New Jersey basements and crawlspaces and may be caused by several different factors including cracks in your home’s foundation, uneven lot grading, or poor downspout drainage.
From mildew and mold, to rot and decay, has moisture from flooding can cause serious property damage and deteriorate your home’s foundation. In fact, according the National Flood Insurance Program, even just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
But some of the most bothersome and potentially dangerous problems from moisture aren’t even visible. The mold and dust mites that thrive in damp basements create airborne allergens that will find their way into the rest of your home, pollute your indoor air, and can cause asthma and upper respiratory issues. If you are concerned about your family’s exposure to contaminants, air quality testing can help you determine the presence and severity of a problem.
Basement moisture and flooding is also a major red flag for home buyers in New Jersey and may decrease the property’s value by as much as 25%. Even if the basement is found to be dry during a home inspection, the State of New Jersey requires sellers to disclose if a basement has ever been wet or damp and any sign of previous water damage such as stains or musty smells can greatly impact the home’s ability to sell. In order to instill trust and give buyers peace of mind, many realtors and home sellers are having Move In Certified™ home inspections done before listing their properties.
The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that 60 percent of U.S. homes have basements that get water at one point or another, but there are some things you can do to help protect your home against flooding. The first step is making sure that water has a place to go other than to gather at the base of your house and foundation.
Although every situation is different, and every home and property is unique, here are a few tips that may help protect your home:
§ Seal cracks in walls, floors, windows and foundations, and seal all window wells.
§ Make sure downspouts are draining properly, and if they don’t already do so,extend them to discharge rain and snow melt water at least 6.5 feet or more away from your foundation. About 2,500 gallons of water can come from a 1,000 square foot roof with one foot of snow depth across the roof.