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Things to Consider if you are Thinking of Buying a Home that has had Water Damage

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 05, 2011

In today’s housing market, you may come across a home that is priced well below market value. Often this is because of some type of damage or deficiency.  More often than not, this involves a flooded basement.  

If you are considering a home with a finished basement that has flooded, keep in mind that this can be very costly to repair and there a some issues to consider. Obviously, finished basements with water damage can be ripe with mold and mildew. This can cause severe problems that you need to think about before buying the home.

Finished basements often have wood or metal framed walls built inside the foundation walls or attached to the concrete in order to install the finish wall board.  These cavities are very susceptible to water damage; they will get flooded easily and are difficult to dry out.  Most of the time, the wallboard and insulation need to be removed in order to dry the area properly. Otherwise, mold and mildew growth will occur.

The floors in finished basements can be concrete, or they may have a sub floor built over the concrete floor. These sub floors are often wood.  This type of flooring is a problem in the event the basement floods.  Water can be trapped between the sub floor and the concrete and it is very difficult to dry out.  Again, most of the time, a sub floor needs to be removed and the area needs to be dried out completely to because of the high risk of mold and mildew damage.

Mold and mildew growth is a risk, to your home and your health.  There are many health problems which mold and milder exacerbate such as respiratory problems, immune system suppression, asthma infections and coughing.

If you are considering the purchase of a home that has had a flooded basement, expect to invest quite a bit of money into restoring and replacing the affected area.  Once that is done, the problem of stopping the water from entering  the basement needs to be addressed.

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