With the ongoing craze in the real estate industry, it is easy to miss some crucial details about the house you want to buy. Unfortunately, water damage is one area that homebuyers ignore, which can cost you so much later as you try to repair your water systems in the house. The best thing you can do before purchasing a home is getting a qualified inspector to assess the water damage in your prospective home.
But what if you do not want to have a formal inspection, you cannot afford one at the time, or the market is so hot that most people are skipping them (to have their offers accepted)?
Well, here are 6 things we propose you look at before buying a home to save you the inconvenience of dealing with water damage in the near future.
Use a Hygrometer or a Moisture Meter
A hygrometer or moisture meter is a machine that will read humidity and moisture levels in the house. When you view your prospective home, take a hygrometer with you. You can buy one or rent one for the viewing days.
You can also ask a professional to help you interpret the readings on the meter.
Check For Recently Replaced Drywall in the House
As you tour the house, check if any new drywall has been put up after the house was placed on the market. If you find a recently restored drywall, this should be a red flag. The owners or real estate agents may have tried to cover up some moisture faults in the house. Unfortunately, restoration is the solution, so it might be 100% fixed. Still, if you notice recently replaced drywall, we suggest that you discuss why it was replaced before purchasing anything.
Check for Stains on Ceilings and Floors
Excess moisture in a house leaves stains on the ceilings and the floors. If you find such stains in your prospective home, you should be worried. If the stains seem old, it indicates that the moisture problem has been around for a while and has not been rectified; if the stains seem new, that may indicate that the problem has yet to be rectified.
Musty Smells in the Basement
When touring your prospective home, insist on visiting the basement. If the basement has a musty smell, it could be a sign of unchecked humidity. The basement is usually one of the most hidden areas in a house, yet it carries many secrets. So, be sure to thoroughly inspect the basement, looking for musty smells, rotting wood, moisture marks on the cement blocks, and any actual moisture buildup (condensation, puddles, etc.).
Is Your Prospective Home Located in a Flood Plain?
As you engage your real estate agent, ask them to give you a physical location of the house you intend to buy. Do some research on the geographical condition of the area, and be wary of flood plains. Flood plains usually harbor a lot of unreleased moisture, seeped into the homes around the plain. As it rains, plains host a lot of water which could cause water damage to your home.
Also, does the home have a sump pump? If it does, that is an indicator that you may have to drain water from the surroundings. While sump pumps are common, it’s important to understand that it’s there for a reason, and that reason is to remove excess water from around the base of your home.
Is the Foundation Block Painted?
If your prospective home has a painted foundation block, the owners are likely hiding something under the paint. Most of the time, it could be water damage being concealed from prospective buyers.
The situation could be worse if the paint is fresh, meaning that the renovators took time to cover up any stains or mold visible on the foundation block. Thus, be wary of homes with freshly painted foundation blocks.
Buying a home is a great investment, but water damage can change that investment into a liability. If you use the tips we have provided above, you can better protect yourself from purchasing the wrong home (or a home that will come with water-related issues).
Our first recommendation is to have a thorough inspection of the property done by a professional inspection company. If that isn’t an option, these tips should aid in protecting your investment.
If you need assistance or just some advice on how to get a water damage-free house even without professional inspection, please reach out to our team today.
-Green Clean Team