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  • Writer's pictureTodd Handler

Before You Buy That House Check for Signs Of Basement Water Damage

Updated: May 2, 2023

Looking for a new house can both be an exciting and an anxious experience. You might find the home that’s perfect for you, but don’t make the mistake of not checking the home thoroughly for any problems before you sign on the dotted line. A major, and often overlooked problem is water damage.

Purchasing a house with unknown water damage will be an expensive and perhaps devastating experience. There are a few things that PA basement waterproofing experts can teach you to help you identify water damage before you purchase:


When inspecting the house be aware of large cracks in the basement. Small cracks are not typically a cause for concern, so the cracks you need to watch out for are large and diagonal. These cracks indicate that the house has a foundation problem which could be caused by moisture. It also means a higher risk for water damage in the future. Cracks like these found inside the basement are known to be more serious than those found outside the home.

You might also come across signs of recent repair-work. While these can also be signs of problems, it’s also an obvious indicator that the homeowner has identified and addressed problems. Then again, it also might just be a quick fix just to mask a serious problem with the home that they do not want buyers like you to find. The only way to be sure is to set up an inspection with a basement waterproofing expert to determine the cause and quality of repairs.

Hardwood or Laiminate Floors

Hardwood flooring can make it easier to notice water damage. When examining a room with hardwood floors, you can simply walk and watch for any warped, buckled, or delaminated panels to indicate that moisture has tampered with the floor. Warped means that a panel is curved or bent. Buckled means that two panels are shifting each other upwards. Delaminated means there is a gap between two panels when they are meant to be bonded together.


Just because you can’t see a problem does not mean that it isn’t there. A third way to check for water damage in a home is to sniff for a possible problem, as you can always smell it before your eyes catch it. In this case, you will want to identify any signs of mold in the home. If you haven’t smelled mold before, it will have a dirty, musty odor. Even if you aren’t able to see it, you might smell mold that comes from inside the wall.

Mold is an indication that a home might be experiencing foundation problems, just like cracks. So, if you can tell there is mold, even if you cannot see it, it could be a sign that there are cracks inside the foundation or inside the wall.

Mold can also be a sign of cracked pipes, a high-water table, a missing or nonfunctional french drain, bad sump pumps, and many other causes


When looking to buy your dream home make sure it passes an inspection for water damage before making a decision. Water damage can be identified in a home in a number of ways, from examining hardwood floors to sniffing for mold inside walls. And most importantly, by having a licensed expert walk the home with you

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