Condo Basement Leaks

I am trying to purchase a condo and during my inspection of the home, I noticed water standing in the basement near the center of the basement floor.  I was told that the water was caused by improper grading on the outside of the condo, but I did not see the waters entry point through the windows or down the walls.  Just a 3' of 4' puddle of stale looking water in the middle of the floor. The water seemed to be coming up through the cement floor, is that possible?
Battlefam4  4-28-07 10:04am

It is possible that the water stems from improper grading and drainage and it may very well not be so obvious that you see it enter and run across the floor.  More likely, the water is running down the outside of the foundation, going under the floor and being drawn up through the force of capillarity.  Most wet basements can be solved through improvement in grading and drainage.  See my columns here for more advice.

That being said, since this home has not been purchased yet, the basement water should be considered a "major defect" and should be corrected by the seller prior to closing.  Because this is a condo, correction becomes a sticky situation.  The seller may not be allowed to work on the exterior drainage as the land belongs to the condo association.  You certainly want to avoid getting in the middle of that too.  Therefore, I'd get your attorney and real estate agent to work out the details. 

Reaching Tom:  If you have a home improvement question or comment on this topic, please post it below.  For answers to other home improvement questions, please email Tom at tomsmoneypit@aol.com so your question can be used in future blog entries, or search Tom's home improvement articles at moneypit.com.

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