Home Inspection
Information From
Alban Home
Inspection Service

May  '04

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In the Home

In the overwhelming majority of cases, water gets into your basement from only one place . . . the sky!

The water, which comes in the form of rain, hits your roof. The roof then diverts the rain to the gutters, and the gutters carry the water to the grades. If the grades close to your house do not slope away from the house, water will accumulate at the walls and eventually find a way into the basement or crawl space. Water perceives your basement as a "low spot," the path of least resistance. 
Go around the outside of your house and
look for depressions or low areas. Common places to find them are at downspouts, and close to window wells, chimneys, concrete steps, and slabs. Solution: Regrade to create positive sloping of the soil away from the house. Effective regrading is accomplished as follows: 
1. Remove soft soils from any low areas.
Soft soils, such as top soil and mulch, are generally dark in color. They are very porous and hold water like a sponge. 
2. Build up low areas with clay.
Clay is a
dense, brown/orange soil. Develop a positive slope away from the house with the clay and tamp it so it is not loose. 


If dense soil is not available, you may have to install a hydrostatic pressure relief system (commonly called a french drain) with a pump to manage any water which may breach the foundation walls. 
3. Put the soft soil back on top of the clay
to prevent erosion and allow for
In an average regrading situation, you’ll
need 10 to 20 wheelbarrows of clay and less than a day to do the work. If you elect to hire someone to do the work, an average regrading should cost $400 to $1,000. In a case where there are many expensive shrubs and extensive landscaping, it may be advisable to install a hydrostatic pressure relief system. A hydrostatic pressure relief system simply allows water to come into your house, collects it, and then pumps it out. These systems work well if installed properly, however they typically cost approximately $25-30 per foot plus $350 to $450 for installation of a sump hole and pump. Costs for an average size basement would be $2,500 to $4,000.

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From the desk of . . .
     Arthur S. Lazero

Pre-Offer & Post-Acceptance
Home Inspections

Pre-offer home inspections this year have become a significant portion of Alban’s work. Multiple contract situations are extremely common as our current "Seller’s Market" persists and purchase offers containing contingencies often go nowhere. However, I was recently involved in a twist to the plot. I want to relate the following conversation with a Realtor I immensely respect. I inspect for her  clients from time to time and I enjoy a cordial relationship with her and her colleagues. In this situation, however, she was the listing agent and I was scheduled by the purchaser to inspect her listing. 
Two days before the scheduled inspection, it
was cancelled. Gretchen Wright, our scheduling secretary, informed me that the listing agent refused to permit the inspection, which was a post-ratification inspection for buyers’ information only based on a "no-contingency, as-is" contract. When I learned the identity of the listing agent, I immediately called her. Jokingly, I accused her of being bad for business! After a brief chuckle, she explained that a lawyer had recently advised against permitting home inspections after ratification. The concern is that since the purchasers agreed to purchase the property without a home inspection, if serious deficiencies were later discovered, the buyer might attempt to reopen the contract or otherwise react adversely.





ALBAN ANNOUNCES RADIO SHOW! Check out Arthur Lazerow, President of Alban Home Inspection Service, the co-host on WMET 1160 AM Intelligent Radio Real Estate Today! Saturdays 10 to 11 AM!


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