Buying or Selling A House With A Wet Basement?

Buying or Selling A House With A Wet Basement?Are you considering buying or selling a home this summer but are afraid to because of a wet basement?  It’s a legitimate concern given that a wet basement decreases property value by 10-25% (Yahoo Voices).  Not to mention the fact that a home with a wet basement typically sits on the market longer.

The average Canadian house price in April 2012 was $375,810 (Canadian Real Estate Association).  That could mean up to a $93,952 loss in equity in your home due to a wet basement!  Typically, an entire basement can waterproofed for less than 2% of the average Canadian house price.  That could mean a gain of 8-23% ($30,000 – $86,000)!  Something simple like a foundation wall crack can typically be repaired for a matter of a few hundred dollars meaning even more savings!

If you’re a seller, why wouldn’t you want to unlock the maximum value on your home by fixing a wet basement?  According to Builder Magazine, 19% of home buyers won’t even consider a fixer-upper.  That will significantly reduce the market for your home.  If you’re a buyer, a home with a wet basement can be a great opportunity to score a deal.

Dealing with a wet basement can seem daunting.  With questions like what will it cost?  How do I find out what’s wrong?  Who do I call?  How do I know if what they’re saying is right?   The first thing you will want to do is contact a waterproofing professional to come into your home to conduct a detailed investigation into the source of the water leak.  Once they find the source, the professional will explain to you the causes of the leak and will make repair recommendations.  If the professional you choose also happens to be a contractor, they may provide you with cost estimates for the various options, if there are options.  Secondly you want to get estimates from at least three different waterproofing contractors.

Do your research.  Google the causes of your wet basement and the proposed solutions to make sure that what is being proposed is what’s best for you.  Get at least three references from each contractor you are considering.  Find out how long they’ve been in business and search court records for legal action.  Check out their social media outlets, their web site and of course, review sites like Google Reviews.  Through this research, you will get to know the company, their personality, trustworthiness and so on.  And finally, ask to see their warranty in writing before awarding them the job. If they won’t let you review their warranty, don’t hire them!

As you consider buying or selling a home, don’t let a wet basement stop you from the home of your dreams.

2 thoughts on “Buying or Selling A House With A Wet Basement?

  1. Well first you have to determine if the crack is siabiltzed or still expanding, if it is still expanding then you have to take care of that problem first. That is not a diy project. If the crack is siabiltzed and there is only one crack, I would expose the crack on the outside of the foundation and fill it with tar. There are companies that claim to be able to seal cracks from the inside, but in my experience none of those repairs have lasted for very long.

    • Thanks for your reply Yvonne,

      In fact, foundation wall cracks never stop moving. Your foundation moves with frost pressure and expansion and contraction due to thermal cycling. External patches never last over a cracked wall, similar to a Band-Aid on the back of your hand; especially tar. In fact, we stopped using tar and other patches in 1978!

      The problem with injections is that most contractors don’t understand the theory behind it which will make it unsuccessful. We have been successfully repairing foundation wall cracks with our PERMA-SEAL® Flexible Resin utilizing our THERMO-JET® Injection Technology since the mid 80’s.

      THERMO-JET® Injection Technology fills the crack completely from the inside out, bottom to top with PERMA-SEAL® Flexible Resin which then bonds to the concrete on either side as it cures. The process basically creates a custom-fit, compressed, flexible, rubber gasket in the crack which permanently keeps water out.

      In fact, crack injections are the repair of choice specified by engineers on dams, brides, manholes, parking decks and other concrete structures all over the world and have been for a couple of decades!

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