Wet foundation observations during a home inspection
Wet walls are difficult to photograph as are stains. Sometimes they just do not photograph well. The wall behind the blue tank (well pressure tank) is stained from water damage. Surface water laying against homes is the source of the number one complaint home buyers have against home inspectors. Home inspectors who have been around for a time all know to aggressively search out and find every single wet, damp, moist or stained spot possible so they can be pointed out to potential home buyers. Potential home buyers must (according to me) be equipped with the fullest set of facts possible so they can make the most informed decision they are capable of making.
Water stained foundation walls are very common. Many real estate agents counter my pointing out water stains with “many houses have water stains”, I agree. However I am not inspecting many houses for this home buyer. Each and every home buyer is an individual client whose interest I represent. It is my job as a home inspector to spend 100% of my time doing everything I know how to do to thoroughly inform that client as to what is wrong, why it is wrong and what to do to correct the issues. I do not gloss over problems or minimize them. I will take the time to go over the problems with you and to make sure you understand them no matter how many different ways I must explain them.
Wet foundation walls observation during home inspection are likely to be wet foundation walls after the home inspection that cause damage to your personal property as well as creating conditions that can allow mold to grow.
Keeping surface water away from your foundation walls is one way to help avoid very expensive corrective actions from being necessary in the future.
Do not let your real estate agent or the home owner convince you water infiltration is not a big deal. Trust me, during all the home inspections I have performed I have never once heard a potential home buyer indicate at basement was too dry. A basement that shows signs of water infiltration at any point in time is a red flag that will cause many home buyers to turn around and walk away.