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Water: Life Giver and Home Wrecker!

Updated: May 9

Water is one of, if not the most important elements for humans. They say a human can live anywhere from 8-21 days without food. But water, only 3. We use it more than any other element in our daily life. Cooking, cleaning, drinking, washing the car on a warm summers day, etc... Water is necessary for daily life. But, water is also extremely destructive. We all now how devastating natural disasters with water can be. Most of the time those make the local if not the national news. Tsunamis, Hurricanes, powerful nor'easters usually cause flooding and destroy homes in the process. But water can also be secretly destroying your home and you won't even notice until it's too late. Unless you know what to look for.

One of the most common things I se when performing a home inspection is not having proper downspout extensions that allow the water to flow away from the homes foundation.

Downspout missing extension and dumping water against homes foundation

You can see her that the downspout extension is missing allowing water to flow onto the ground next to the homes foundation.

Now, you might ask yourself, what is the issue with this? A little rain water shouldn't be a big deal, right? Well, a little rain water might not be an issue, but a lot a rain water at one time during a big storm or years of rainwater, however small the amount will turn into a big deal. The ground next to the foundation swells when it becomes saturated with water. This in turn puts tremendous force on the foundation walls. Couple that with the freeze/thaw action over the years and eventually the foundation will show signs of weakness.

Here you can see signs of water damage. From horizontal cracking, cracks that run through blocks, pitted block and peeling paint are all signs of water intrusion and foundational shifting.

Keeping the water away from your home and making sure to keep a positive grade ( soil sloping away from the homes foundation) are easy fixes that will help you to avoid costly repairs down the road.

Some cracking in a foundation may not be an issue. But knowing what the crack is doing, the direction it runs in, where it is located and using clues from other aspects of a home inspection are what the home inspector is using to put together the story of the home for you. This is why an experienced home inspector can be a major allie to the home buyer. Its better to know what you may be getting into before you purchase the home, rather than being surprised after the fact. Water: Life Giver and Home Wrecker! #getaninspection

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