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TOPIC: Seeping, Creeping And A Little Weeping

Seeping, Creeping And A Little Weeping 12 years 2 months ago #34054

Window wells can be a problem, especially on older homes.  The newer homes have drains in the wells  connected to a sump pump system, so ostensibly they can drain when it rains.  The older ones are typically not so connected.  This was a house with two sump pumps (installed long after the 1951 build date), an original window well and lots of new paint and flooring.

Old window wells are conduits for water.  Just to check, and as suspected, my dandy moisture meter registered over 30% moisture in the floor molding under the window well.

Well, that's not good.

Usually my nose is my best mold and moisture detector.  In this case nobody present smelled any of that.

Then the more we four walked around, the more moisture began seeping up from between the newer floor tiles!

And this moisture formed a pattern, a trail really, creeping from the window well toward the back corner where there was a sump pump.

A lot of water was squishing up!

Was there a previous dig up of the slab and a sump line installed leading from the window to the sump?  Perhaps.  Or was it leaking through the walls and traveling under the flooring to the pit?

We never did determine the source of the water.

I did suspect that this has been happening for some time however.

How did I know that?

The underside of a rug between the window and the sump pit had staining on it that looked just like the pattern of the flooring seams.

And a steel support column in the center of the room had rust at the bottom.  And it was a little wet.

I am sure my findings will not be a surprise to the sellers, but they sure did bother my client and wife.  She in particular was very upset.  I think the fix, if there is one, will be very expensive.

I hope it is a good outcome.

My recommendation:  Even if you don't smell evidence of moisture, look around for other evidences, like stains or rust.  You never know...
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Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia
www.jaymarinspect.com
Northern Virginia Home Inspector
Festina Lente - Make Haste Slowly
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