Don’t Let a Wet Basement Stop You from Selling Your Home

Don’t Let a Wet Basement Stop You from Selling Your HomeAt long last, the residential real estate market is finally starting to pick up in the greater Chicago area.  We all know it’s been in the doldrums for way too long.  A lot of homeowners have been holding off on selling because the market’s been so down.  Now, though, things are starting to change.  More and more owners are putting their homes up for sale.  Many of them are engaged in various home improvement projects that are intended to make their homes more appealing to prospective buyers.  Kitchen or bathroom remodeling, upgraded landscaping, new carpeting, and a fresh coat of paint are a few common projects of this type.  Too often, though, sellers disregard the importance of the condition of their basement.

Unfortunately, wet basements are a lot more common than you might think.  Some experts estimate that up to 95% of all homes have had water in their basements at one time or another, either currently or in the past.  That’s why so many expert flood control and seepage Chicago companies exist.  A wet basement is one of those things that tend to scare off potential buyers as soon as they see it.  They visualize needing to pay for horrendously expensive repairs, even if the actual fix would be pretty cheap.  Some wet basements are caused by a relatively minor issue that’s easy and inexpensive to correct.

Even if a buyer doesn’t notice the problem before making an offer, it’s a sure bet that the home inspector they hire will.  Discovering basement water seepage might be enough to end the deal right then and there, but even if the buyer doesn’t back out they’ll probably reduce their offer.

Those things are bad enough, but there’s another reason to find out whether your basement has a water problem before you put it up for sale.  You see, you’ll need to fill out a home disclosure report when you put your home on the market.  Basically, it asks you a series of questions that are designed to find out if you know of any problems with or in your home.

The form used by Illinois real estate agents focuses in on basement/crawlspace water problems almost right away.  If you know there’s a problem you need to say so on this form – I’d guess that lying about something like this could get you into a heap of trouble.  Of course, it will also look bad if you say you know there are some water problems.  You’d be telling potential buyers that they’d be in for some repairs in the future.  Again, many buyers will run in the opposite direction as soon as they see this.  Others will still make an offer, but it will be much lower than the amount they would have been willing to pay if the basement was dry.

So, do yourself a big favor if you’re considering selling your home or if you’ve already put it on the market.  Go down to your basement and take a close look around.

There are a few tell-tale signs to look for.  Seeing pools of water on the floor is a pretty obvious signal that you need some type of basement waterproofing done.  So are wet or dried water stains on the walls.  Less obvious but still significant is the presence of efflorescence on the interior foundation walls.  Efflorescence is a chalky white substance that consists of crystallized mineral deposits.  It appears when minerals in the water are left behind when moisture on the walls evaporates.

Other things to look for include cracks in a foundation wall leading downward from the corner of a window frame, rot in wood door or window frames, and mold or mildew anywhere.  If your basement is finished, look carefully for rusty nails in the baseboards and any buckled or lifted floor tiles.  Finally, use your nose.  Do you smell a damp, musty odor?

If you see any of these signs of water seepage, call in a professional seepage Chicago company expert to check out the cause and suggest some ways to correct it.  The work that’s required to eliminate your basement water problem might be a lot less expensive than you think, especially if you go with a company like ours.  We make a point of evaluating all the possible solutions and recommending those that will correct the problem but still be cost-effective.

No matter which type of solution would be best for your basement water problem, we’ll identify it.  And once you give us the go-ahead, we’ll do all the work expertly and efficiently.  Basement waterproofing will help you get a higher price for your home, and it will probably sell faster too.

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