El Dorado Hills - Homes & News - DeeDee Riley Realtor: Virginia: Bristow

Hope Springs Eternal

My neighbor's house across the street was built on what used to be a small pond.  The water in the pond seemed to come from no where, so I suspected it was fed by a small spring underneath.

To build the house, they "drained" the pond and began digging for the basement and foundation footings.  Before they poured the slab there was always water and mud in the bottom of the pit.  When the slab was poured water came up from some of the lolly columns under the steel beams.  In other words, the water had gone no where.  It's source was still there.

Now, their basement is always damp, they have burned out two sump pumps in 10 years and the current pump runs all the time.

I ran across the circumstance below on a pre-drywall inspection. 













In this house so much water was percolating up under two lolly columns that it was flooding about a third of the basement.  And there is little rain or snow recently, so the water is coming from elsewhere.  The other lolly columns were all dry.  As was the sump pump pit about 40' away!  So water is not being diverted from AROUND the foundation to the pit, at least not yet.  But it is coming up from underneath.

Does this say spring under the house?  When they were scooping out the hole for the basement, did they run into water?  There is a natural creek about 50 yards away, or less.  Is this natural water coming from under the house?

For certain, when this water is pumped out and those squares filled with hand-mixed concrete, that water will not go away. 

I am not a soils engineer or hydrologist so I cannot predict how much of a problem this will be in the future.  The client can HOPE that it isn't one.  I did recommend to the client that she ask the builder to have a hydrologist or other professional look at this and provide her a report.  That would be very prudent.

My recommendation:  water is THE killer of houses, inside and out, in all of its many forms.  It has to be controlled every way possible.  Personally I would NOT discount this circumstance above!  I would want to HOPE that this is NOT an eternal spring!




Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 51 commentsJay Markanich • December 29 2010 08:23AM
Hope Springs Eternal
My neighbor's house across the street was built on what used to be a small pond. The water in the pond seemed to come from no where, so I suspected it was fed by a small spring underneath. To build the house, they "drained" the pond… more
Please Tell Me Why My Room Is So Cold
I hear that all the time. The flip side complaint is that the given room is too warm in the summer. This person said that the room feels fine when the heat runs, and then cools quickly. Sounds difficult to diagnose? It's not. … more
Have you ever heard the saying, "Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build it. " Carpenter - noun - a person who makes wooden objects and structures. From the Latin 'carpentarius artifex' or 'carriage… more
Built In Termite Invite
When first walking around the rear of a house, I saw a shed. At first glance it looked home made but okay! Well, so then I noticed the collapsing roof. .. And the wood siding that is right on the ground, a big no no. &… more
Projects Around The House - Caulking
Homeowners can improve their homes in any of a million ways. When doing so, they should always consider a few things. Following this list of common sense steps can help make any project a proud project. REMEMBER, WHEN DONE WITH ANY HOME… more
Agents, Don't Let This Happen To Your Sellers…
The seller is an elderly widow, and wants to move south to be nearer to children and grandchildren. She has been living in her home for 47 years. She has been single for 4 years, during which time maintenance slipped a bit on her house. To… more
Finding Your Roots
Roots can be a problem. As trees grow their roots grow too. An arborist once told me that a tree's mass below can be twice as large as what you see above ground. As roots grow they can do damage. This tree was planted to frame off a drive… more
This Is A Holey Post (I Said "Holey", not "Holy")
Water is THE killer of houses, inside and out. The outside of the house comes with an exterior "skin, " which is supposed to keep that water OUT of the house. That skin develops in different forms, shapes and materials, and all combine,… more
My Job? To Protect My Client's A$$ets!
New construction inspections are always a challenge. And for many reasons. There is a lot of countervailing stuff going on. The supervisor thinks he has built the perfect house. Sometimes he tells me that. The builder doesn't… more