Are you considering buying a house with water damage? The good news is that water damage doesn’t necessarily mean you should discount the property. A home inspector and a water and mold damage restoration professional can be your best assets in helping you make an informed decision.
How Home Inspectors Help
Home inspectors are strong advisors when buying a home with water damage. They are trained to assess the property and can provide you with a detailed report that includes issues related to water damage.
For example, they can assess the air conditioning system to see if it’s been leaking water from condensation, frozen coils, drain lines, and more. Furnaces can also leak due to a broken condensation pump, clogged or damaged drain lines, and low refrigerant. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be buying a house with water damage in the basement if it has been, or can be, remediated. Your home inspector will be able to evaluate and advise you on any such leak and the damage it may have caused.
Home inspectors may also provide additional services such as mold testing and insurance inspections that can be helpful.
It’s important to note that these home inspections differ from assessments provided by companies such as 1-800 WATER DAMAGE.
Elements of an Inspection
When you’re considering buying a home with water damage, key information is important to adequately evaluate the property:
1. Damage Evidence
Signs of water damage to watch for include stains on the walls or ceiling, water rings on floors or baseboards, and musty smells.
2. Extent of the Damage
How much damage was there, when did it occur, and what areas of the home were affected? These are important questions to get answered in order to fully understand the extent of the water damage. See if you can find out how long water was present in the house before it was corrected. Look for signs of mold growth or structural damage, as these can be indicators of more serious water damage.
3. Water Source
Where did the water originate that caused the damage? Was it from a burst pipe or a leaky roof, or are you buying a flood-damaged house? Answering these questions and identifying the source of the issue is an important step in formulating a plan for preventing future water damage.
4. Repairs That Were Made
What repairs were made, and who did them – the homeowner or a professional? Professionals probably provided receipts which can give you vital information. If the homeowner did the repairs, it could be helpful to find out from them exactly what was done.
5. The History of the Property
Have there been any previous instances of water damage? This can help you look in specific areas for any issues and prepare for any potential recurring problems. You can also find out if the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems have had any issues or have been replaced.
Don’t Forget to Look for Mold
If you’re considering buying a house with water damage, it’s important also to determine whether it’s led to a mold issue. A home inspector with mold detection training, along with information about the home and its history, may be able to discern its presence. Buying a home with mold damage doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker though. The important thing to consider is whether or not all the mold has been removed from the home. For example:
- If mold testing was done with a professional assessment, you can find out if there was mold and where it was removed.
- Water damage tends to bubble or peel, resulting in a bumpy or loose surface. On the other hand, mold is usually slimy or damp and will smudge if touched.
- Odors are also a sure sign there is mold remaining in the home.
If you think mold could be present, 1-800 WATER DAMAGE has the resources to provide an assessment to confirm the situation and let you know what to expect regarding repair or remediation.
Contacting 1-800 WATER DAMAGE
The bottom line in buying a home with water damage is to know when the damage occurred, how it was addressed, and if more cleanup and repairs are still necessary. A home with water damage is not a reason to walk away from a property if it has been, or can be, repaired without significant cost.
Use the professionals – a home inspector and a mold and water damage restoration company – to your advantage in making this decision.
For more information on mold and water damage or to book an assessment by one of our professionals, contact us to set up an appointment or give us a call at (800) 928-3732, and we’d be happy to help!