Know What Your Home Sits On

May 30th 2011
Know What Your Home Sits On

To understand your house as a system, you must begin with the land your home sits on and how it is structured.

Is it on a full basement, crawl space or slab on grade and what do each of these terms mean? Does your home sit on a sloping piece of property and if so what can you expect in the future: surface water, roof water, groundwater? How can that affect down deep in the ground around your foundation footings called the perimeter drain system.

How would you like to be a new homebuyer tapped out with your new mortgage payments only to find that you have a musty damp crawl space or basement. Then you find that your perimeter drainage requires digging around your home to repair unserviced drainage tiles costing thousands of dollars.

Ask yourself whether you had a home inspection done when you bought your last house.  Did the inspection address anything to do with drainage, odours, white powder on concrete walls or floors in the crawl space or basement? This is about as far as home inspectors can go, they do not have x-ray eyes.

If your home is 10 years of age or older and nothing has been done regarding drainage maintenance, an inspection by a qualified drainage contractor is a must.

Points that should be addressed:

1. How long have you lived in your home?
2. Where is (if there is one) the collector catchment sump?
3. How close are the trees, shrubs, backfill settlement to the home?
4. Level or sloping lot?
5. When was the last perimeter (weeping tile) service completed?
6. Any signs of moisture in the crawl space, basement, or around the floor on a slab on grade home?

Buying or selling a home, be prepared to answer these questions.