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  1. #1
    Laura Insera's Avatar
    Laura Insera Guest

    Default Basement in Foreclosed house

    Just put in an offer on a foreclosed house built in 1885 in Chicago. Still need to do an inspection if they accept the offer but wanted to get input on this basement. It appears the bank just put in this flashing, not sure if it was the correct way to fix an old below grade house? Any opinions based on the two attached photos? Thanks!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
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    1,363

    Default Re: Basement in Foreclosed house

    Difficult to tell from the photos. There must have been a reason for the work and and even if it has been done correctly I'd be interested in whether or not previous damp conditions have caused some residual problems that were not addressed by the water management system. Some drainage systems can actually increase the amount of radon gas in the home as well as dampness. Note that such systems generally collect water that has already entered the basement.

    I'd be more interested in a system that stopped the water entry. Find an inspector who understands hydrostatic pressures as well as water and moisture migration. Be aware that these topics can be outside the knowledge base of people you contact - you need to ask pointed questions about their background and training. Being licensed does not mean that one is necessarily qualified for such work.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  3. #3
    Laura Insera's Avatar
    Laura Insera Guest

    Default Re: Basement in Foreclosed house

    thanks, very helpful


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    2,446

    Default Re: Basement in Foreclosed house

    Kind of looks like the stuff they use on basement "dry" systems.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    1,394

    Default Re: Basement in Foreclosed house

    Hard to tell from the photos, except the electrical connection for the sump pump is a no-no. A knowledgeable home inspector should be able to offer a good opinion, but you might be prepared to pay some extra for the opinion of a structural engineer.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Basement in Foreclosed house

    Looks like a standard french drain set-up that gets done around here quite a bit. This set-up tends to work pretty well in terms of controlling seepage and minor to moderate flooding. Heavy flooding can easily overwhelm it though.
    Some of the key points to look for is how well the cement floor was patched back in, depth, how well the pit was installed and were the discharge go to.
    It's important that the discharge goes as far as possible from the house. I've seen the pipe cut a foot outside the house wall, which essentially makes it a recirculating system.
    For the bank (anyone) to install this system often means the house definitely takes in a fair amount of water. However, I have also seen people install it just because they get seepage once or twice a year in heavy rain storms. Without actually seeing the house one can't say for sure. The drain set-up may or may not have been the best option. I suggest you consider whether having a house that takes in water is Ok for you. Beyond that there may also be other cost effective options to actually greatly reduce or eliminate water coming in.
    How eroded the foundation is or isn't and exterior grading are all important factors to look at. 1885 in Chicago, it could be a great house or a money pit.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

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