Can a contractor tell if basement has leaked before?

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Posted by: from Hamilton
12/5/2011 at 3:54:22 PM

I need an expert opinion from a contractor or from a basement waterproofing company stating if my basement has leaked before or has leaked continuously.

I understand if there's a fee for this service but I tried calling a building engineer because they usually provide reports however,

they do not provide comments whether the house has leaked. All they can do is provide a comprehensive report about the building structure.

They can state if I have a foundation crack or not but cannot comment whether my property has leaked before.

Can someone advice me on how I can obtain this service?

Thank You.

can a contractor tell if basement has leaked before?
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Date/Time12/19/2011 at 6:26:38 PM

Hi Ben,

A qualified contractor or properly trained home/property inspector should be able to identify if there has been flooding in the past. They will look at telltale signs such as water lines on the wall; a uniform discoloring along the bottom portion of the wall. Other indicators would be the grading around the structure, is there a slope away from the foundation that would direct water away instead of towards the house. Even if there is no single piece of evidence an experienced contractor/inspector should be able to put together all the clues. Also look for evidence of drain tile around the perimeter.

When you bought the house was there storage in the basement? If so was any of it damaged, or lifted off the ground to protect it perhaps.

One way to check if any moisture is coming through is to tape and seal 2'X2' pieces of poly in a few locations, on the floor and wall, leave it for two weeks and check for any water/moisture on the inside.

Having said all this it is possible that the flooding was so minor it did not leave any evidence, just because it hasn't flooded yet does not mean it won't in the future.

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