" On-the-Ground" Expertise and Experience on the Lower Cape!
William Raveis Orleans Office:
2013, 2014, 2015- #1 Producer-Units Sold~ 2014 #1 Producer-Sales Volume
WET OR MUSTY BASEMENTS…A COMMON CAPE
Water in a
basement may be obvious…water trickling across the floor or standing several
inches deep at the base of the stairs. But there also are less obvious signs.A
wet basement may just feel humid and have a damp, stuffy smell. If so, wood in
contact with concrete may be wet or decaying. Efflorescence, a chalky white
substance left by the evaporation of water, may be seen on the walls. Basement
floor tiles may be loose or popped. A carpeted floor may smell musty.
Find the Water
Fixing a wet basement begins with finding the cause. Infiltration of surface
water, infiltration of groundwater, presence of outside humidity, and presence
of indoor humidity are common causes of wet basements.Surface water intrusion
is when water runs toward the foundation and finds an entry. Groundwater enters
through the walls and floor by wicking action or by hydrostatic pressure when
the surrounding soil is saturated or the water table is high.
Warm, moist summer air can enter
a house and condense on the basement’s cooler floor or walls. Indoor
activities, like an improperly vented dryer, can create humidity that settles
in the basement.
To avoid ongoing problems
with mold or mildew, get rid of any water-damaged furnishings and possessions
unless they can be properly cleaned. Then identify and treat the source of the
If surface water is the
culprit, watch how the roof drainage system works and where rain water flows
during a rainstorm.A gutter or downspout plugged with debris may be sending
rainwater over the gutter, down along the foundation, and into the house. Regular
cleaning or installing a product that prevents debris from getting into the
trough will end that problem.If there is no debris but rainwater is still
overflowing, the downspouts may be clogged incorrectly sized for the roof area,
or insufficient for the size of the house. Consider getting larger gutters,
adding another downspout, or increasing the downspout size and its
corresponding gutter opening.Downspout extensions that direct rainwater away
from the house may be improperly placed or not long enough to protect the home
from surface water. Experts suggest extensions of at least 10 feet to get the
discharge away from the house without sending water into a neighbor’s
yard.Check the grade to see if it has been improperly set or has settled in
spots, sending water toward the foundation. Check paved areas, driveways, and
walkways that may be directing water toward the house. Proper slope has to be
regained and may mean replacing pavement.Basement window wells and stairwells
can collect water, causing leaks into the basement. For a window well, put a
drain system underneath, cover it with a clear plastic cover and be sure the
well has a raised-lip edge to repel water. For a stairwell, consider a
raised-lip edge and a roof to cover the area.
Groundwater is difficult to
control. The ground surrounding a basement may become saturated with rainwater
or an underground spring, especially if the soil is a heavy clay. Water
pressure from saturated soil will push water through tiny cracks in the foundation.
If groundwater levels rise above the basement floor, water will leak in.If the
problem is small, a homeowner may try patching cracks from the inside. Interior
crack repair does not prevent water from getting into the exterior section of
the wall. Water trapped inside the basement wall can weaken the foundation.
After pinpointing the source, a homeowner might dig down along the foundation
to see if outer wall repairs are small or large before making a repair
decision.Large cracks may require a structural engineer or basement specialist
to fix any cracks, seal the outside, and install a drain around the perimeter
of the house.
Warm moist air, from inside activities or the outside, can condense on cooler
basement walls and floors. Install energy-efficient windows, use a dehumidifier
or air conditioner, and circulate household air to prevent moisture
buildup.Indoor humidity can have several sources. A working sump pump can
produce unwanted humidity, but can be easily controlled. Put a tight-sealing cover
on the sump pump and install a floor drain with a trap so that water can get to
the sump.A dirt floor or crawl space may also emit moisture. One possibility is
to pour a concrete floor over a sealed polyethylene moisture barrier on the
floor. For crawl spaces, a ground cover will reduce the moisture coming up
through the earth. Insulate perimeter walls if water pipes or heating ducts are
in that area. Insulate cold-water pipes and walls. Install proper dryer
exhausts and vent basement showers directly outside. Don’t hang wet laundry in
Fixing a wet basement may mean
replacing decaying wood. If wood supports or framing appear water damaged,
check with a professional to see if there are structural problems.
comparison of your home with others should include as many common elements
as possible…which in our eclectic Cape
Cod marketplace, is not always
easy. Not only the size of the lot (in the case of a single family home), the
square footage of the living space in the dwelling, overall condition, the
number of bedrooms and baths, the location overall, the micro-neighborhood around the property and the
proximity to desired area amenities….all are important, as are "year of build”,
previous sales history…a host of factors are important in varying degrees. If you do not understand the comparisons in any
CMA I might perform for you, ask me the rationale behind my
choices! I am happy to explain my thinking in as an articulate manner as possible. The more experienced the Realtor, the more informed the Realtor will
be, and the better able to explain his Opinion. While it may be tempting to list your home with the REALTOR® who tells
you it can sell at the high price they recommend (and that is usually the highest price you
have been presented with), a smarter way to sell your home is to price it as
accurately as possible from the beginning. Studies show that an overpriced home
that lingers on the market will end up selling for less than the estimated
correct price. This happens time and again in our marketplace. A Realtor who
prices too high to "buy” a listing creates false expectations for both the
seller and the agent as well. While a small realistic "cushion” may sometimes be
appropriate in the marketing price to aid in negotiation, pricing the property close to
"real” value remains, as mentioned, most important!
I am always available to offer an Opinion of Value with its accompanying CMA, or just for a casual chat about the trends in the marketplace. I work at my job full time. I invite you to read some of my testimonials. I love my work.
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I have owned homes in Brewster, Orleans, and in Eastham; where I currently reside with my wife Sandy and a comical mini-Dachshund. In addition to Orleans,Brewster,and Eastham; I have sold properties from Mashpee to Provincetown... as modest as 2 parking spaces... to a $3.8 million waterfront estate. More testimonials and a more complete profile are available here on my website. Having lived year-round on the Cape since 1957, I have intimate insights into just about every "nook and cranny" on the Lower Cape, and strive to know our real estate inventory whenever possible, from the "inside".
Chairman's Elite Club 2008
Chairman's Club 2010
Presidents Club 2013,2014,2015
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