Monthly Archives: November 2012

Although landscaping is so very important to a dry basement, sometimes other things outside the home can cause water to work its way inside. Because of difficulty and cost, people are often hesitant to consider the negative impact hardscaping can have on moisture intrusion. What I’m talking about here are:

  • Walks
  • Steps
  • Patios
  • Decks
  • Driveways

Just like the earth, over time these wood, asphalt, and concrete surfaces can settle. Often the settlement will either puddle water alongside or actually drive water towards the foundation. As I said these hard surfaces can be expensive to remove and replace. For this reason, most of the time, homeowners will leave the settled hardscaping and try anything and everything else to try to correct the problem…and it never works! There is a core principal here and that is, if water is being driven towards the foundation, at some time, it is bound to come into the basement. It might not be in normal rain or snow thaw, but during in-climate conditions it will.

That’s why if you ask a homeowner selling their house if they have moisture in the basement, their immediate reaction will be no. Then when they think about it for a moment, they will say something like well maybe a little bit on real heavy rainfalls or only when the downspouts are disconnected or only when it rains really hard from the north. What they are saying is the landscape and hardscape are not sloped adequately to handle large volumes of water. Homeowners, home buyers, and real estate professionals don’t expect basements or crawl spaces to be dry some of the time or even most of the time. Today, these people demand that these below grade spaces be dry ALL of the time.

So the grounds surrounding the home are very important to protect against moisture intrusion…but that’s just the beginning!

Doug & Julie Hastings
Your House Whisperers
Minnesota Home Inspection Services

The neighbor’s basement is not a good idea. But there is a point to be made; that is once the movement of surface water is changed it may impact other homes and this could open a homeowner up to a lawsuit. So, before beginning to re-landscape you should always check with the city and the neighbors; thoroughly explaining the plan Read More

Unfortunately not, controlling exterior surface water can be quite a bit more complex than just landscaping. There are many situations that the landscaping looks just the way it should, but below the surface it really isn’t. Remember my previous comment on soils. The type of soil can impact how permeable or impermeable it may be. Some soil lets water flow Read More

We will launch our tour together in the basement or crawl space seeking moisture, figuring out its source, and providing solutions to the problem. The most common dampness in below grade foundations originates from outside the building. Moisture intrusion is caused by inadequate control of surface and ground waters. The results can be discolored walls, seepage on the floor around Read More

Approximately 90% of all structural building failures are caused by moisture. This problem is clearly the #1 enemy of any home. Regardless of age, style, or location; moisture is extremely damaging and all homeowners, home buyers, or real estate professionals need to be able to recognize it. To begin understanding moisture, it’s important to understand what the structure of a Read More

Your House Whisperers is the blogging home of Cities’ Inspection Service, Inc. – we’re glad you’re here! Our goal with this blog is to be your resource and answer to your questions about residential and commercial property inspections.  Whether you are a home buyer, home seller or real estate professional, we have resources for you here within our blog, as Read More