Best Time for a Home Inspection is when it's Raining
When rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast it's time to schedule your home inspection. In fact, day two or three of heavy downpours are the very best time to get into a home and specifically, into the basement.
When it rains, we tour! There is so much to learn about a house when it's wet!
In Washington D.C., many of the row houses, town houses, and single family homes are over 100 years old.
Most of these old homes have stone or brick foundations with no waterproofing materials below ground. Back in the day, a basement was a cellar or storage area. Many of the lower level family rooms, created over the last few decades, are damp with old paneling and dropped ceilings. Even with a sump pump or french drain system, basements can retain moisture behind drywall or paneling.
The beauty and charm of an older home is in the detailed architecture, not in the basements.
Touring a House on a Rainy Day? Check For -
- A musty or damp smell is a sign that there is moisture in a home. Look for signs of mildew and moisture. If walls are paneled, look for signs of water wicking at the bottom of paneling or drywall. Using a flashlight, check for water wicking around the staircase.
- Look for original materials; wood, brick, cinderblock. If there are signs of water wicking, the house has a history of water issues.
- If the home has been flipped or remodeled, ask if they used a mold and mildew resistant drywall. In a basement, is there a subfloor? This would allow an air gap or moisture barrier between the new floor and the original basement floor.
- Look around the electrical panel for signs of rust or moisture. Remember-never put your hands near the wiring around panels or electrical boxes!
- In addition to water issues, radon can be a problem. Ask for a radon test, if you are buying a home. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly. Learn more about Radon on the EPA's website
Links for more resources:
An exclusive buyer agent, a member of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents, follows ethical standards that surpass legal and industry standards
Not just buyer agents, exclusive buyer agents. There's a difference. Learn why financial consultants and experts, like Suze Orman, recommend home buyers work with a member of NAEBA.