I live in Canada and about a month ago, we moved into a new house.
It house is 7 years old. When we did the walk through, everything
looked good. But when you really look close at the carpet, we knew
that there was previous water damage. And the first time we used the
vacuflow, there was water in it. They have 4 kids, so these signs did
not trigger anything for us.
Well it has rained here for 2 days straight. Yesterday when we sent
down stairs, we realized that water was seeping in. It seemed strange
because the window above was reasonably dry on the inside, but the well
on the outside was filled with water.
We got out the shampooer and vacummed it up, but it kept returning. We
could not see where the water was coming from.
Later in the evening on the other side of the basement, everytime we
would take a step, water would soak up to the carpet. We had wet foot
prints everywhere. So we started stomping around and then the other
areas became saturated.
So we took off the baseboards and lifted up the carpet. We assumed we
would find a crack or something. But we did not.
The water is coming in on 2 walls, one has a window and the other does
not. I know this sounds strange, but it seems like the water is coming
in through the walls. They are drywalled so we could not actually see.
The wall without the window is has a large deck on it.
So where do we start looking for the source. My husband thinks it is
just the lack of grading of the dirt. Is this possible????
Should the old homeowners have told us of the problem and is there
anything we can do now because they did not?
Thanks in advance
Absolutely possible. Five days after we closed on this place we had a
huge boomer roll through (I'm in Saskatoon) and I hadn't cleaned the
gutters (it was on my todo list). I ended up digging a trench down the
middle of the back yard during a violent thunderstorm (no bloody way
was I going up a metal ladder to get at the clogged eavestrough) to get
the water away from the house. I hauled in 10 yards of dirt the next
week to get the grade sloped away from the house at the foundation, and
check the gutters three times a year.
They probably should have, but whether they had a legal *obligation* to
and if you have any recourse because they didn't is a question for your
lawyer and possibly your insurance company (if you're making a claim).
Go read this. Now.
I had to take 3 steps, thankfully paid for by the seller once we had
1. Regrade the outside.
2. New gutter along that side of the house, a big large gutter, and
make sure the exit pipes go right out away from the house, mine go out
15 feet under a deck. There was standing water under the deck once.
3. Dehumidifier in the basement, run it all the time if necessary when
its damp. I have a high velocity fan (on low) blowing there 24/7 also,
to circulate the air and help the dehumidifier.
I also put tight heavy plastic canvas under the deck, once the grading
was done, to bring any water right away from the house.
Now the flooding is gone, if anything there is a small leak once or
twice, nothing much.
One more thing, make sure the sump pump works fine.
Also, sounds like you could lose the carpet and have something else,
such as bare concrete (like me).
Good luck, don't worry, these problems are common and you will get them
In the US there are real estate disclosure laws which require the seller to
notify you of such problems. You should contact any broker except the one
who sold you the property and find out what the Canadian laws are. If your
window wells are filling up, you can get covers for them, but it sounds like
you may have footing drain issues
First I would check with the local authorities and see if you have any
Next your husband is right. Most of the time when there is problems
with water coming in, a quick look at the grading around the home will show
where the problem is. Trying to work from the inside to prevent water from
coming in is not the best idea. Start with where it is coming in and keep
the water away from there.
I don't know what your local regulations may be, but it sounds like you
may not have a sump pump to get rid of any water that does get in. Check
locally and see if that would be a good idea where you are. I'll bet it
Does the soil have high clay content? The well should drain ... away
from the house. Water may be coming in around the window. That may
be one source. It may also indicate water is pooling around the
"envelope" of your basement.
Sounds like hydrostatic pressure on the building envelope ... water
will enter at the easiest point which can be a wall crack. If this is
so, one quick relief ... which your city will not like ... is to break
the mortar seal around your floor drain .. just a little . If water
pours up (and then down the drain)... you will know what the problem
is ... and allowing this relief may help. Essentially what
you're doing is providing an easier entry.
Yes, even likely. It could also be that the eavestroughing is not
carry water far enough away from the house.
Depends on where you are in Canada. Did they sign a disclosure
statement. In BC, sellers are required to sign a disclosure
statemnt ... if they've lied and water in the vacuflow and the filling
of the window well suggest they have, you can seek relief. In BC as
well, the listing realtor is liable not only for what he/she know but
for what he/she ought to have known. In Alberta, a much less
consumer friendly province, sellers are requested but not required to
disclose known defects.
Did you not have a home inspection?? Not that you'll be able to pin
much on them. Their contracts ensure they are responsible for
Talk to your lawyer. It also depends on just how much you've been
damaged. A couple of thousand dollars in remedies might justify a
harsh letter from your lawyer, but not much beyond. A six or eight
thousand dollars remedy might warrant a small claims court action.
But basically, the only winners in law suits are the lawyers.
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