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Settling sidewalks and sloped uni-stone patios are common causes of water being directed against your foundation. This can allow water or moisture to penetrate you basement wall and even cause potential settling of your foundation. Always ensure your exterior grade will direct water away from your foundations.
Roof shingles come in many colours and patterns. Most typical shingles will have a life expectancy of 18 to 20 years. The shingles installed on the south side roof will normal show signs of deterioration first due to exposure to sunlight. The granular material of the shingle is there to protect your shingle from UV rays of sun. Although there are many shingles which are advertised as 25 or 30 year shingles, it is unusual to see them last more than a couple of extra years when compared to regular shingles.
Electrical wiring issues is by far the most common problem found in most older homes with a renovated basement. The wiring issues are usually un-supported electrical cables, missing junction boxes and adding circuits to existing breakers in main panel. This is always an indication that the home owner has done the work and a licensed electrician should be called in to inspect and repair all the wiring. I will typically recommend that potential buyers ask for an electrical certificate for home which indicates that all wiring has been inspected and passed by licensed electrician.
Any renovation in your home is required to have a building permit. Part of the building permit process is having plumbing, structure, electrical and insulation inspected by your local building officials or electrical authority. When a renovation is done with out taking out a building permit you run the risk of un-seen problems coming back to haunt you and most likely costing a great deal of money to repair.
Annual maintenance and caulking of exterior joints in your home can prevent needless repairs and save you hundreds of dollars. Caulking seams in window sills and ensuring mortar is still in place on brick window sills can save a lot of repairs for a couple of dollars. Just caulking your asphalt driveway at joint where it meets your garage can prevent separation and sinking of driveway.
When installing pot lights in an attic ensure your lights are designed to be installed in insulation. So many home owners just stick a pot light in there attic without checking. This is a huge waste of energy and is also a big fire risk. The insulation in the attic is usually disturbed and not replaced causing more energy loss and increased heating costs.
A basement is an area below the first floor with a minimum height of 6 feet 8 inches. Basements may be created using masonry blocks or poured concrete. Modern homes are typically constructed using forms and poured concrete. Many basements provide added living space, including bedrooms, bath, recreation rooms.
Water can easily enter basements as they are built below grade and are surrounded by soil. Rain and snow run off can create conditions where the water in the soil can leech into the basement through the porous concrete. New basements are typically constructed of poured concrete.
The roof on your home can collect over 600 gallons per 1000 square feet after 1 inch of rain has fallen. Install and maintain gutters and downspouts so that they route all rainwater and snow melt far enough away from the foundation of the building to ensure that pooling does not occur near the walls of the structure. At least 10 feet from the building is best, and at the point where water leaves the downspout, it should be able to flow freely away from the foundation instead of back toward it, and should not be collecting in pools.
One of the most important parts of your homes defense system is the weeping tile and sump pump combination. Weeping tile pipe is placed against and level to the bottom of the foundation footing. Once the weeping tile pipe is completely installed, coarse gravel is placed on top and level with the top of the footing. Any water build up is captured by the weeping tile and carried to the sump pit where it is pumped away from your home.
Newer homes basements are typically protected using a black dimpled product which is attached to perimeter of basement walls. Most home owners think this is a water proofing barrier designed to keep water away from their foundation. The wrap is actually designed to allow water to quickly drain down void, created by the dimples, and enter weeping tile. This prevents any hydraulic water build up against concrete prevent water intrusion.
A sump pump is a pump placed in the basement of a home used to pump water from the basement to the outside or drain into the home’s drainage system. Sump pumps usually work in conjunction with a sump pit, which is a hole dug in the basement of a house which collects water during a rainstorm. The pump then pumps the water out of that sump pit.. A sump pump is usually necessary either in cases where the home’s basement is below the water table level, and or when the home is located in a place where flooding is common.
Basements and every sleeping room should have at least one emergency escape-and-rescue opening. Such openings should open directly onto a public street, public alley, yard or court.
The emergency escape-and-rescue opening should be operational from the inside without the use of tools, keys, or special knowledge.
Basement egress windows have special requirements. Since you’re below ground, you have to make sure that the window can still fully open without obstruction. Make sure the basement window well has enough area to move around in and if the well is especially deep, make sure you have a ladder attached to it for an easy getaway. Also, if the well is under a deck, make sure there is enough space between the deck and the window. In other words, give yourself enough room to escape. These specialty windows don’t do anybody any good if there are other exterior obstacles that may end up trapping you.
A typical basement walkout is a below-grade entrance to a basement. There should be a set of stairs and a landing at the bottom of the stairs. The walls and steps of a walkout are commonly made of concrete, but can be made of a variety of materials, including wood. A walkout may be covered with a permanent roof structure, or it may be open. The walkout may have a cover that can be opened or removed.
Structurally, for houses, the basement walls typically form the foundation. In warmer climates, some houses do not have basements because they are not necessary (although many still prefer them). In colder climates, the foundation must be below the frost line. Unless constructed in very cold climates, the frost line is not so deep as to justify an entire level below the ground, although it is usually deep enough that a basement is the assumed standard.
Basement floor drains need to be filled regularly to prevent the trap from drying out and sewer gas from escaping into the basement. The drain trap can be topped up automatically by the condensation from air conditioners or high-efficiency furnaces. A small tube from another downpipe is sometimes used to keep the trap from drying out. In areas where storm and sanitary sewers are combined, and there is the risk of sewage backing up, backflow prevention devices in all basement drains may be mandated by code and definitely are recommended even if not mandated. A blocked floor drain can cause water damage and possibly even mould if not inspected and repaired.
This first unfinished design, found principally in spaces larger than the traditional cellar, is common in residences throughout America and Canada. One usually finds within it a water heater, various pipes running along the ceiling and downwards to the floor, and sometimes a workbench, a freezer or refrigerator, or a washer/dryer set. Boxes of various materials, and objects unneeded in the rest of the house, are also often stored there; in this regard, the unfinished basement takes the place both of the cellar and of the attic. Home workshops are often located in the basement, since sawdust, metal chips, and other mess or noise are less of a nuisance there. The basement can contain all of these objects and still be considered to be “unfinished,” as they are either mostly or entirely functional in purpose.
Finished basements are always suspect for water and moisture problems which can sometimes be hidden from view. The Barrie Home Inspector uses moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras to detect otherwise hidden moisture issues.