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6 Ways Home Inspectors Look For Basement Problems

inspector looking at exterior foundation

In Western Colorado, the heavy clay and bentonite soil we live on impacts home basements. Paired with our state’s regular dry spells, soil and weather put stress on your basement and lead to various issues. Recognizing basement problem signs before they get worse helps safeguard your investment and prevents a loss in your home’s market value.

This guide will empower you to identify and tackle these basement issues like a certified home inspector. With this knowledge, you can ensure your basement stays as healthy and functional as possible. Whether you’re looking to sell your home or make better use of your basement, follow these 6 steps!

Top 6 Basement Problem Signs to Look Out For

1. Inspect for Structural Issues

Basements offer a great deal to a home. They can provide additional living space including a home office, gym and workout room, or perhaps a fan cave. But that doesn’t work if there are structural issues. Since the basement is literally the home’s foundation, bulging and bowing basement walls can substantially upset the entire home.

For that reason, home inspectors look for cracks in walls and floor, sagging or creaking floors, as well as cracked exterior brickwork. Doors and windows that stick or won’t close are another sign of problems. Call a foundation repair specialist to fully review the issues and propose a repair plan.

moldy, stained wall in basement

2. Look for Water Damage

Walk through the basement and look for wet floors, damp spots on walls, and leaky basement windows. Any moisture can lead to mold and mildew as well as musty smells that can permeate the entire house. That water can also rot wooden support beams, ruin carpeting, as well as damage insulation and drywall.

The optimum barrier for these issues is a basement waterproofing system that collects any water and removes it from the basement with a sump pump. A dehumidifier may also be needed. A basement waterproofing professional can provide specific recommendations to address these problems.

3. Review the Building Insulation

A home’s comfort during hot and cold spells is directly related to the level of insulation as well as the HVAC system’s efficiency. Insulation also directly impacts the utility bills. The easiest places to evaluate insulation levels and quality are in the attic and the basement. Make sure the attic has a sufficient level of insulation and that it isn’t damaged.

Basements can suffer from either non-existent insulation or wet insulation. The best basement insulation is waterproof panels that seal against moisture and provide a vapor barrier. Check the HVAC ductwork too. Any damage or lack of insulation can really run up energy costs.

spiders crawling along basement ceiling

4. Look for Pests and Pest Damage

Here in western Colorado, we experience all kinds of critters. Unfortunately, they find their way into basements, usually through the same cracks and openings that allow in moisture and water. Once inside, they can set up housekeeping and cause all sorts of problems.

Mice leave droppings and test their teeth on insulation and electrical wires. Then there are termites that can dig with relish into wood structural supports and drywall. The best fix is to seal the cracks and gaps where they find entry. Serious infestations should be addressed by a professional exterminator.

5. Inspect and Test Basement Appliances

If there’s moisture in the basement, it may have damaged the appliances and even caused rusting of any metal such as the electrical circuit box. Look for high water marks on the walls and even on the appliances themselves. That includes the furnace, AC unit, water heater, dryer, washer, and even electrical outlets.

Testing the appliances and electrical system to ensure full operation or find any problems is best left to a qualified technician. They can provide a full list of required repairs.

man inspecting gutters with tape measure

6. Conduct an Outside Water Drainage Review

There are quite a few natural weather events that can wreak havoc on our homes and foundations. Any water running off the roof needs to be routed through the gutters and downspouts, followed by properly graded landscaping to move all that water safely away from the foundation. Check the gutters to make sure they are clear of any obstructions.

Also, consider downspout extensions that can help route the water. Trees and shrubs can also impact foundations and roofs from falling branches. Make sure they are planted well away from the foundation and properly trimmed each year.

Foundation Repair of Western Colorado Helps You Catch Basement and Foundation Issues

inspector looking at a laptop with homeowners

Living in beautiful Western Colorado has its perks, but it also brings a unique set of challenges for homeowners, mainly thanks to our clay and bentonite soil and unpredictable weather. But hey, it’s all part of the package, right? As wise homeowners, understanding these challenges is the first step in protecting your investment and making your home a fortress protected from the elements.

So, whether you’re planning to sell your home, or you’re simply looking to make your basement the best it can be, following these steps will help you spot and fix issues before they become major headaches. By staying ahead of the game, you’ll not only save on those pesky repair costs but also boost the overall value and comfort of your home. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection and make sure your basement continues to be top-quality for years to come!

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Grand Junction, CO 81501