View Full Version : Water Seepage Verbiage

Randy King
02-16-2012, 12:08 PM
Hi Guys/Gals,

I have a quick question and ultimately looking at getting the direction others use for verbiage and how in depth you go for a basement (or crawlspace depending on your region) that has signs of prior moisture issues but shows no active water problems during the inspection process. In other words to put simply is dry during the inspection but has signs of prior seepage.

In the reports, I use I always display whether the basement was present with evidence of prior leakage or not and if so include the signs of why that conclusion was made, for example: stains, mold growth on baseboard, efflorescence etc. but typically do not get anymore in depth than that.

However, with all of that being said it is something I am wanting to be open to and get other opinions on. Thanks for the feed back in advance. Happy inspecting!

Jack Feldmann
02-16-2012, 03:33 PM
I usually just report what I see. If there are moisture stains in a basement, then I take a photo and check it with my moisture meter. The report note will say something like "Moisture stains noted on foundation wall in basement, tested DRY with moisture meter." Or, I'll say tested WET with mm.
I try to keep my reports pretty simple.

neal lewis
02-16-2012, 04:08 PM
Jack, what does that mean to the buyer of the house? Wouldn't you want to come to some sort of conclusion or provide a recommedation?

Eric Barker
02-16-2012, 08:02 PM
In other words to put simply is dry during the inspection but has signs of prior seepage.

That works. Try to get your clients to appreciate the facts: basements are not boats, they can leak and there's no such thing as a "water-proofing" contractor/application. As Jack said, keep it simple. If a client wants assurances that their basement will never leak tell them to buy a third floor condo.

Randy King
02-17-2012, 07:08 AM
Thanks for the initial feedback gentleman. Neal's point is exactly the predicament I think we face as inspectors and is the concise discussion I am wondering about. We by most SOP's are required to report what we see, which is exactly what I do; but should we be attempting to speculate on what may be causing the issue? Should we be explaining these items in further detail so the client is better understanding the issue and potential likelihood of future problems? This is something I do during the inspection procedure if the client is on-site so they fully understand basements and the implications of past signs/symptoms.

Neal, since you chimmed in, what is your protocol? What do feel is sufficient enough for the client?

neal lewis
02-17-2012, 08:44 AM
Randy, here's a boilerplate comment that i use sometimes in my reports for a basement with a minor seepage problem. Of course, i change them according to the situation.

There are stains/efflorescence on basement walls from water seepage. Exterior grading/drainage alterations may help to reduce water collecting next to the foundation, and may reduce seepage in the basement. The gutters should be kept clean and the downspouts discharged away from the foundation or into an underground system.

Since there are signs of prior water entry, there is a possibility of future water seepage due to varying conditions. Contact the owner or their representative for additional information about any history of water seepage.