"In most cases" when a seller has had water problems in the basement you can tell. First of all, the seller must disclose if there has been any water problems that have not been repaired on the Property Disclosure Statement that almost every seller fills in. That does not always mean they do disclose it. It also does not guarantee that it is fixed. First and foremost "Get An Inspection" . Most inspectors have devices to detect water even behind the walls. At Century 21 we always insist on a home inspection for all home purchases except new housing where there is a warranty. Here are some additional points to remember when trying to find water problems:
- The Odor - This is a tell-tale sign. A musky smell in a basement is likely as a result of previous water problems
- Dampness/Staining On Carpets - Can indicate past leakage. Identify when and in which locations in the basement, this occurs
- Efflorescence - A whitish mineral deposit that many times is visible on masonry surfaces. Usually the result of water passing through the wall.
- Mold/Mildew - Usually located on or near, an area that has seen prolonged moisture, giving the mold a chance to grow. Often associated with an unpleasant odor.
- Rust Stains - Sometimes seen on concrete floors and carpet, usually due to rusted metal feet on furniture. Rusty nails on baseboards, electrical boxes, etc., all indicate evidence of past moisture.
- Stained/Darkened Wood - Can indicate past water absorption, due to leakage.
- Dampness/Staining Around Floor Cracks - Can indicate that water is forcing itself up though the cracks, due to pressure, water table, etc.
- Water Bugs - Look for evidence of small insects along the baseboards, behind sofas, in corners, etc. Some types of insects gravitate towards areas of moisture.