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Old 07-17-2011, 01:10 PM   #1
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Moisture in basement?


I'm in the process of buying a five-year-old house. The basement is unfinished.

I'm worried about dampness in the basement concrete foundation.

A home inspector took a look at our basement, and said that he detected no mildew. He also detected no evidence of past leaks.

However, I can see discoloration / stains / lines on the concrete foundation. Here is a picture:



See a larger image here.

Our real estate agent believes that this is normal, and the result of condensation, and that we need not worry.

Judging by the pictures, does this look "normal"? Or is there a problem with our concrete basement foundation?

Thanks.

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Old 07-17-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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Moisture in basement?


Is there any moisture behind the insulation/vapor barrier? Do the lines wipe off?

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Old 07-17-2011, 04:52 PM   #3
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Moisture in basement?


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Is there any moisture behind the insulation/vapor barrier? Do the lines wipe off?
Hi Mike,

I haven't seen behind the insulation, but the insulation itself looked clear -- no stains or dampness on it.

I haven't tried to wipe the lines off.

I don't have regular access to the basement, as I haven't closed on the house yet.

Our home inspector gave the basement a passing grade, but since it's a big purchase, I still worry.

Does this indicate serious problems with the basement? Or can I simply install a dehumidifier, and not worry unless I see leaks or mold?
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:55 PM   #4
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Moisture in basement?


Those lines could go back to while the foundation was still open and before the house was built on top of it. I honestly wouldn't worry about it, but looking at those pics isn't enough. They sell moisture reading devices that can help you out.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:05 PM   #5
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Moisture in basement?


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Those lines could go back to while the foundation was still open and before the house was built on top of it. I honestly wouldn't worry about it, but looking at those pics isn't enough. They sell moisture reading devices that can help you out.
Thanks, Mike. Since the home inspection passed, and I haven't closed yet, I don't have access to the basement until I actually buy the house. I can now choose to raise trouble, demand another inspection, walk away, and worry... or realize that it's probably okay, buy the house, and deal with some dampness as a fact of life.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:47 PM   #6
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Moisture in basement?


That is from the forms, when the wall was poured. Just residual form release (ie used motor oil with diesel fuel usually). As for finishing the basement, there is info at http://www.buildingscience.com/index_html

Last edited by gregzoll; 07-17-2011 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:35 AM   #7
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Moisture in basement?


I'm with Greg. Look like form lines to me.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
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Moisture in basement?


Hmm... that doesn't look too good. Do you happen to have a dehumidifier? All basements need one before of all the moisture that is locked down there. You can try to look for good prices there though Good luck!


Last edited by Gary in WA; 08-17-2011 at 07:22 PM. Reason: removed ad link as per forum rules
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