hidden wet basement - Posted by Brad PA

Posted by BillW. on June 07, 2001 at 21:25:26:

Brad, You’ll need to call a termite or bug man to see what they are if you’re not sure. Looks to me though like you got mislead.

hidden wet basement - Posted by Brad PA

Posted by Brad PA on June 07, 2001 at 14:39:12:

I bought my primary residence three years ago when I was still naive about what to look for and trusted home inspectors to be diligent for me. I have recently noticed wetness in the corner and two walls of the basement – one wall worse than the other. I am having drains and a sump installed next week. Before it is done I am going to remove the panelling in the finished room to see if there is damage to the walls. I noticed that the bottom four feet of panelling on the worst wall was a slightly different panelling than the rest. I noticed it before, but assumed that he just mixed and matched a little (could I be more naive?). I removed this piece first and found that it was merely nailed over the other panelling to hide the discolored panelling underneath. One of the seller’s selling points was the new carpet in the gameroom, which he obviously needed to install to hide the leak. My home inspector should have noticed this in my opinion, but as I noticed during the inspection, he was a friend of the seller who was a local contractor. I also should have been a bit more diligent in my own inspection – too trusting. I don’t mean to sound like a complaining victim. I see this as a learning experience and won’t make the same mistake again, but did the seller violate disclosure laws or any other laws in any way? Do I have any legal recourse?



Re: hidden wet basement - Posted by Jim Locker

Posted by Jim Locker on June 07, 2001 at 16:09:40:

Based strictly upon what you have written here, it seems very likely to me that the seller violated federal law by not disclosing the leaking basement. You suggest that new paneling was nailed over old to conceal damage; if this can be demonstrated, it is a “smoking gun.”

The home inspector certainly should have noticed the problem; that is what he is paid for. If, again per your suggestion, the inspector and the seller were buddies, then there is a clear conflict of interest.

A proper repair for that basement could easily run to 5 figures, since the goal is to get the water away from the foundation wall and divert that which does get there so that it cannot come inside.

You could certainly consider exploring the matter further. To do so, you would need to consult with an attorney.

well, here’s a way… - Posted by JDC

Posted by JDC on June 07, 2001 at 15:25:07:

I’m learning from this whole thing as well but here’s how I’ve been attacking it… so far.

If you don’t see major cracks (no bigger than hairline thickness), you can fix that by applying some waterproofing mix…

If you have slighty bigger cracks, you have to put some cement over it before applying the waterproofing mix.

If the leak is coming from behind the studs in the basementwall, call a waterproofing company
(anyone know how to fix this?)

I’m in the process of dealing with this myself
but the problem became bigger after the storm.

Re: hidden wet basement - Posted by Brad PA

Posted by Brad PA on June 07, 2001 at 14:57:01:

One more thing. When I pulled the cove molding away from the rotting panelling I noticed many very very tiny insect on the wood. Should I be concerned about that or will they just go away with the old panelling and carpet?

Thanks again,


interesting… - Posted by JDC

Posted by JDC on June 07, 2001 at 22:45:07:

That was a good post…

on a different note, i was flamed by almost everyone here
for stating the similar question as brad
and was even labeled a fool for not doing my “dilegence”. hmm…

Re: hidden wet basement - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on June 07, 2001 at 22:02:55:

Grab one of those bugs and place it in some sort of container. Then take it to an exterminator, and ask them what it is?
If it is a termite, get it taken care of ASAP.
This will not be cheap, but it will save you money and hassle down the road.
The Exterminator should tell you what the bug is for free.
Jim IL