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Old 04-23-2013, 10:03 AM   #1
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Braces and water in basement


Hello all! I have a situation in which I'm unsure how concerned I should be. Looking to purchase a home and after a week of heavy rain in S.E Wisconsin, I took a look at the home and basement. Everything seemed fine and an offer to purchase was drawn up. Long story short, we're at the "accepted offer, home inspection phase". I decided to revisit the house again after a weekend of light rain to confirm some measurements and stuff(I had planned to change out doors, etc.) and went into basement for the heck of it. To my dismay, there were puddles of water throughout the basement. They were all by walls but it was all around the basement(some in corners, some in the middle of wall). Walls were not discolored so I don't believe it's leaking through the walls but the floors are definitely wet. In addition, I noticed braces throughout the basement(I must have missed it the first time around) and the realtor pointed out that there's some bowing of the wall that was filled up and braces installed. I don't believe this was recent as the filling and braces were extremely dusty and the paint did not seem fresh.

Next step is definitely a home inspector plus a structural engineer. I actually am tempted to just abort and not blow ~$1200 on these 2 inspectors. However, different people are telling me some water in the basement can be normal since we've had quite a bit of rain. This doesn't seem right to me. Sellers are saying they've never had a water issue in the basement- but I take that with a grain of salt. Nothing was disclosed on paper, especially not the bracing in the basement. Thoughts?
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:22 AM   #2
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Braces and water in basement


Was the bracing in the basement specified (Engineer...)
Probably not.
Walk away!
(Or, run!)

Take some "pics" of the "bracing".
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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Braces and water in basement


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Originally Posted by rossfingal View Post
Was the bracing in the basement specified (Engineer...)
Probably not.
Walk away!
(Or, run!)
Do you mean on the sellers disclosure? Nope, it wasn't specified.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:27 AM   #4
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Braces and water in basement


We can't see what you mean by "bracing".
Usually, you don't need "bracing" in a basement.
Pictures!?!

rossfingal

(Walk away!)

If the "bracing" is for the walls - not a very good sign!
If the "bracing" is for the beams/joists - not a very good sign!

Last edited by rossfingal; 04-23-2013 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:38 AM   #5
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Braces and water in basement


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Originally Posted by rossfingal View Post
We can't see what you mean by "bracing".
Usually, you don't need "bracing" in a basement.
Pictures!?!

rossfingal

(Walk away!)

If the "bracing" is for the walls - not a very good sign!
If the "bracing" is for the beams/joists - not a very good sign!

It's for the walls. Here's how it looks like(although not a photo of the actual basement)

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Old 04-23-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
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Braces and water in basement


Find another house!
Walk away!!!
Your call - do what you want -
I wouldn't touch that!!
Was the "retro-fitted", bracing put on "pads"? -
Or, just the floor?
(Are you a good runner?!?)
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:52 AM   #7
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Braces and water in basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by rossfingal View Post
Find another house!
Walk away!!!
Your call - do what you want -
I wouldn't touch that!!
Was the "retro-fitted", bracing put on "pads"? -
Or, just the floor?
(Are you a good runner?!?)

Just the floor. Thanks for the input. I'm waiting for home inspection either way but wondering if I should be extremely concerned or something more common. I guess it's in the "extremely concerned" folder :/
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:55 AM   #8
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Braces and water in basement


The braces are a typical "WAFRP" standardized repair, more than likely. The problem I've encountered in your situation is that the braces may have been installed to an older version of the standards, and if there's any movement/bowing/deflection in place since they were installed, additional work may be required.

The water issue would be more concerning to me. Although we've had an abnormally wet winter and now spring, the water issue isn't going to fix itself.

If you're looking for a good non-biased SE that specializes in foundation reports in SE WI, I can PM a name of an individual that I've worked with a few times in the past........
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:57 AM   #9
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Braces and water in basement


I think the operative, concern would be:
Probably - extremely, concerned!!!
There are things you don't touch "with a 10 foot pole"!
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:59 AM   #10
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Braces and water in basement


Thanks for stepping in "jomama45"!
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:00 AM   #11
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Braces and water in basement


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Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
The braces are a typical "WAFRP" standardized repair, more than likely. The problem I've encountered in your situation is that the braces may have been installed to an older version of the standards, and if there's any movement/bowing/deflection in place since they were installed, additional work may be required.

The water issue would be more concerning to me. Although we've had an abnormally wet winter and now spring, the water issue isn't going to fix itself.

If you're looking for a good non-biased SE that specializes in foundation reports in SE WI, I can PM a name of an individual that I've worked with a few times in the past........
I would really appreciate a recommendation. Thank you.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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Braces and water in basement


There's no real way to know if there's additional movement unless we had previous engineer/repair report and/or start measuring, correct?
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:12 AM   #13
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Braces and water in basement


The columns should be grouted tight to the wall, so any discrepency between them can tell a story. A report helps alot as well. There's other indicators as well, and a competent consultant will surprise you at what they may find......
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