As an Inspector, 99% of all basements, we find dampness/seepage to some degree. This makes it a very common problem with very easy, and cheap repairs/corrections. The cause is: the failure to control roof and surface water. There are two systems that address, and are installed to avoid this problem.

When water stands too close to the foundation walls, this creates whats known as hydrostatic pressure. This is the force that pushes the water through the foundation/basement wall.

Controling the roof and surface water is very simple. The first system installed is gutters, downspouts and extensions. It’s very important to control the roof water and get it away from the basement wall. The second system is to have a good positive slope to shed water from the foundation/basement wall. The building code states; 10 feet. In 95% of all our inspections we recommended re-grading – provide a positive slope. Simply building it up with top soil, will do the job.

Be very careful when hiring a Waterproof Contractor. In most cases they’re not needed. They will take your money though.


If you think your heating unit is running more than it should, you’re probably right.. If your heating bill is alittle more (or a lot more) than you think it should be, it probably is.
There are a number of things homeowners over look (until it’s too late).
1. Attic Insulation: check it. If you have less than 10″ on the attic floor, your fuel costs
will be 30-50+% higher. As a Home Inspector I recommend 16″ on the attic floor.
2. Furnace air filter: If it’s dirty or clogged, the heat stays in the furnace. The unit
will run longer (wear it out sooner), and use alot more fuel $.
3. The heating unit should be serviced every year. If it’s checked, cleaned and
adjusted for the best performance.


Basement dampness and seepage is a very common problem, including crawl spaces. In most cases, you do not need to hire a contract to correct this issue.

What causes basement dampness is the failure of controling roof and surface water. When water stands too close to the foundation/basement wall, the water creates what is known as hydrostatic pressure. This is the force that pushes the water thru the walls. So, providing a good gutter system and a good grade to shed water from the foundation walls will correct the problem

A good grade is too build-up the soil around the foundation, and slope it to shed water from the foundation.


Posted: January 10, 2012 in Inspector Jim's Blog

We just settled in for a good nights sleep, and about 20 mins. later the ceiling mounted carbon monoxide detector went-off. Scaring the pee-gees out of me, whatever they are.
When I sprang in to action, I didn’t notice anything unusual in the air or atmosphere. AS you should be aware; carbon …monoxide is a colorless, tasteless and odorless – so in this reguard, I could not tell anyway. However, immediatily I discovered that nothing was on that would produce CO. This is quite unusual.
As any good building inspector, I activated my professional/portable CO detector. Did test samples throughout my home, with no results. (alarm still active). Turned-up the furnace (pvc out), and sampled again, “0”ppm. The olny other thing would be a defective detector or low battery. The battery indicator showed “good”. Changed battery anyway. CO detector went back to normal operation. It was a bad batterry. LIVE SAFE….

According to experts and our research, NOT a good idea for large families. Tankless heaters burn at about 170,000btu per hour, and they need a 1″ gas line. Tank heaters burn at 40,000ph w/ recovery time of 45mins. You do the math!