Wet and damp may not sound uncommon for Virginia basements. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, basement leaks and water issues can be far more serious than you might expect.
Don’t settle for dampness and basement leaks. Whether you’ve owned your home for 20 years, just bought it or are shopping for a new property in VA, it’s time to get proactive.
Know the costs of ignoring even minor basement leaks. Recognize the signs there have been active leaks and water issues in the past. Find out how to effectively negotiate when buying a home and how to protect your investment.
Basement Leaks: Common, But Serious
Maybe you’ve had water problems in your basement for years. Maybe your parents or neighbors have had them for several years. That doesn’t make it safe or something you have to put up with.
If you have regular basement leaks or flooding, at a bare minimum you are wasting an incredible amount of valuable space in your home.
Water leaks are not your friend. In fact, they are your nemesis when it comes to your house. You can stop them. You can prevent future leaks. You can preserve your home and health by getting proactive and putting your foot down.
Water Leaks & Buying A Home
Do not just assume everything is okay with your new home, not even if it is advertised as being recently renovated or is new construction. This is one of the most common mistakes that homebuyers make.
Looks can be very deceiving. There can be leaks in even brand new multi-million dollar custom homes. Look for any questionable water stains throughout the house. Ask exactly what was done during renovations, including how any previous leaks or foundation issues were handled. Check to see if permits were pulled. Know exactly what is covered by any home warranty and what is in the seller disclosures.
Always get the home inspected. You often only have 10 days to get an inspection and get back to the seller and realtors with the findings. If you miss this deadline, your deposit money can be lost, along with any other expenses. You may be legally on the hook to still buy this home.
If you get back to them in time and your contract allows it, you can either cancel the contract and get a refund or renegotiate. If there are basement leaks or related issues stemming from this, you can request the seller give you a credit toward these repairs at closing or fix them before you sign the closing documents. Your realtors may also be willing to chip in with some cash rebates to cover the costs and save the rest of their commissions.
Do not rely on any of these parties for estimates on what it is going to cost to cure leaks or re-secure the home’s foundation. Get real quotes from basement experts who know exactly what needs to be done.
Deal With An Existing Home With Basement Leaks
Whether there are telltale signs of occasional minor leaks in the basement, or it floods every time there is a major storm or the snow melts, be proactive. It’s not going to fix itself.
Over time, the changing weather, freezing and dry seasons will lead to ever larger cracks in your slab and basement walls. This can result in additional cracks throughout your home as your foundation is no longer able to support your home’s weight.
Even before the home collapses, you are likely to experience dampness and mold. Toxic mold can cause serious and permanent damage to your health and lungs. It will keep rotting your home until it is removed and the leaks are stopped.
Leave it too long, and you are unlikely to even be able to sell your home to someone else and get rid of the problem.
6 Tips To Get Proactive & Save Your Home
- Always get a professional inspection and specialist contractor quotes.
- Check for financing offers and coverage from your warranty and insurance to cover the best repairs.
- Target the root causes and fix them right the first time.
- Keep your receipts and add value to your home when you sell it.
- Be sure to have any mold professionally removed, including replacing infected materials.
- Go beyond stopping leaks to prevent water from accumulating next to your foundation walls.