You've cleared out all the old clutter, painted the windows, and planted some flowers. You're sure you've thought of all the little things about your home that will make a good impression to a potential buyer. Yet, even if your home décor is beautiful, if your property shows any signs of a leaky foundation or drainage problems, then a buyer who may have fallen in love with the rest of your home will simply walk away when they see what's happening downstairs.
Every aspect of your home relies upon its foundation. If a buyer detects moisture, cracking, heaving, or other problems in your home's foundation, it can often be an indication of intensive and costly repairs needed in the future. The common denominator of such problems is usually water. There are a few simple and cost effective solutions a homeowner can take to address these common foundation problems early, before a small problem becomes a bigger one.
The majority of foundation trouble is due to inadequate drainage. A heavy rainfall on an average-sized roof can produce thousands of gallons of water that spew from the different downspouts located around the house. The first thing to do is check eaves and drainpipes for clogging. Metal snake type cleaners are available at building supply stores to assist in cleaning those hard to reach spots.
If you're sure the gutters are clear, yet you're still having moisture problems, the next thing to do is to check the angle of the downspout ends or ‘kickers' which route the downspout water away from the basement walls. If the downspout nearly touches the ground before the bend for the kicker, then you are creating a choke point for the water flow at peak times. It's far better to have the downspout ‘kicker' to start angling away from the house while it's still 8-12 inches above the ground. This longer, higher slope will let gravity help evacuate the water faster. Also, try to pipe all water to a low point away from your home. But do keep in mind where the water is draining, so you can keep the neighbours happy too.
If these measures fail to solve your home's drainage problems, it may be that you have to dig deeper – literally. It may be that you have to install a drainage tranch, or ‘weeper' tile underground to help alleviate the build-up of rainwater around your house. The ‘weeper' is essentially a small sewer pipe that pulls the water away from the house quickly. It a very labour-intensive job that requires digging a trench 12 to 14 inches deep for drain lines leading water away from your problem areas. There's a relatively low skill level, so some able-bodied do-it-yourselfers may be tempted to do it on their own, with a little help from their local home improvement store.
Remember to correct any moisture problem in your foundation before you fix any cracks, stains, and blemishes, or you'll end up doing the same job over and over again! For more tips of solving buyer objections before they arise, contact your local Coldwell Banker real estate professional.