Basement Remarks

Any basement/crawlspace that has cracks or leaks is technically considered to have failed. Most block basements/crawlspace have step cracks in various areas. If little or no movement has occurred and the step cracks are uniform, this is considered acceptable. Horizontal cracks in the third or fourth block down indicate the block has moved due to outside pressure. They can be attributed to many factors such as improper grading, improperly functioning gutter and downspout system, etc. Normally if little or no movement has taken place and proper grading and downspouts exist, this is considered acceptable. If the wall containing the stress crack(s) has moved considerably, this will require some method of reinforcement. Basements/crawlspace that have been freshly painted or tuckpointed should be monitored for movement. This will be indicated by cracks reopening. If cracks reappear, reinforcement may be necessary. Reinforcing a basement/crawlspace wall can become expensive.

Although an effort has been made to note any major inflections or weaknesses, it is difficult at best to detect these areas when walls are finished off, or basement/crawlspace storage makes areas inaccessible. No representation is made as to the condition of these walls.

Formwork for concrete that stays in place as permanent building insulation for energy-efficient, cast-in-place, reinforced concrete walls, floors and roofs.

Indicates that the walls have stress cracks, but little movement has occurred. In our opinion, the cracks should be filled with mortar and the walls monitored for further movement and cracking. If additional movement or cracking occurs, reinforcement may be necessary.

We recommend that the walls be re-evaluated by a structural engineer or basement/crawlspace repair company and estimates be obtained if work is required.

Floors that are dirt or gravel should be covered with a vapor barrier.

Basement/crawlspace dampness is frequently noted in houses and in most cases the stains, moisture or efflorescence present is a symptom denoting that a problem exists outside the home. Usual causes are
improper downspout extensions or leaking gutters and/or low or improper grade (including concrete surfaces) at the perimeter of the house. A proper slope away from the house is one inch per foot for four to six feet. Expensive solutions to basement/crawlspace dampness are frequently offered. It is possible to spend thousands of dollars on solutions such as pumping out water that has already entered or pumping of chemical preparations into the ground around the house.

Many older homes have a valve in the floor drain. This drain needs to remain operational.

We offer no opinion about the existence or condition of the drain tile, as it cannot be visibly inspected.

We recommend that you have an outlet within 6' of each appliance. The appliance you plan to install may be different than what exists, therefore the inspection includes testing a representative number of receptacles that exist. It is also recommended to have ground fault circuit interrupts for any outlet in the unfinished part of the basement and crawl spaces.