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TOPIC: Basement moisture issue question

Basement moisture issue question 9 years 3 months ago #49777

I am looking at a house to purchase and the seller had a home inspection in July to give to serious potential buyers to see prior to making an offer.  I was looking for some more detailed info regarding some issues:

There are stair step cracks in the mortar joints.  The gap is even (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch).  There is also some dry rot on an interior wall, bottom plate/trim area (only one place visible to inspector).  The seller states they have not have any moisture/leaks since they purchased the home in 2006.  Generally speaking, are these joint cracks a major concern? (they are only in the mortar joints). Also, what is the likelihood that the dry rot/water damage is isolated to that one specific area?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Basement moisture issue question 9 years 3 months ago #49778


Please give us some additional information.  The most important is WHERE are you?  A home in a norther Minnesota freeze zone may have a different answer than a home in say, seismic California.  You may not have a water issue in Arizona, but Washington may be different.  We should also know if there is any displacement of the crack, either horizontal or vertical.  Any exterior trees in the area?  How high is the exterior grade in relation to the basement floor?  Anything like a driveway or exterior stairs along that wall?  Any downspouts in the area of the cracks?  Do the cracks emanate from a window or door?  Is there a beam at the top of the stair step cracks?  Are the cracks tapered at all? (Thicker at one end than at the other end)

If there is wood rot in one place, don't be shocked if it is in other hidden areas as well.

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Re: Basement moisture issue question 9 years 3 months ago #49779

Thanks for the reply...

I am in Indiana.

There are no trees on the back wall where the evidence has been seen.

The grade is pretty much 4-5 from basement floor all the way across (excluding the outdoor stairwell down to the back of the garage).

There is a downspout on the corner where the cracks are.  It looks like the original (or oldest) part dumped out right at the corner but they have extended it out and down-grade since then.

Not emanating from a  window or door but the back garage door is about 10 feet away.

Not sure about a beam at the top, but I don't think so.

The cracks are uniform in width, no tapering and no cracks in the block, just the mortar joints.

Thanks again!

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