I am considering purchasing a home with an unfinished basement, that I would like to finish as extra living space for my family. How can I tell if the basement leaks?

Renovating or finishing a basement is an economical way to increase the living space in a home. Every homeowner should be aware, however, that most basements are likely to suffer from some form of moisture problem during their lifetime.

A survey undertaken by Health and Welfare Canada found that 38% of Canadian homes had indications of excessive dampness or mold. And even the most modern basements, which may remain dry for years, can suddenly become susceptible to moisture infiltration, as settling occurs or conditions change around the home.

A qualified home inspector will conduct a visual inspection of the entire property for signs such as cracks, dampness or discoloration, which could indicate if or where the risk of a leak is apparent. A thorough inspection will investigate all accessible areas of the home, including the exterior, the slope of the earth around the house, the eaves troughing and downspouts, window wells and basement windows, vegetation close to the home, the foundation, joints between the foundation and patios or driveways, and the interior.

In addition, a professional home inspection will also go far beyond the basement, to examine and assess plumbing and heating systems, the structural components of the roof and foundation, electrical, and air conditioning systems, and interior and exterior building materials and finishes.

For a qualified assessment of any home you’re thinking about buying, contact a certified home inspection professional near you before making an offer.

Visit the home inspection experts at AmeriSpec of Canada for more tips and valuable home improvement information.

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