American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
2767 Dewey Avenue
Rochester, NY 14616
Office: 585-349-3900
Fax: 585-349-3834

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Suburban News
October 8, 2001
Fall 'Home" Special Section

Gunther Home Inspections


Solutions to common homeowner complaints

Question: I have this water stain on the inside of my basement walls. It seems to be the heaviest at the corners and not as bad on the rest of the walls. I've painted the inside of the walls with a water sealing paint but it seems to be flaking the paint off. What can I do to stop this problem from happening once and for all?
D-M., Hilton

Answer: What you are describing is very common in many basements in homes - water penetration, staining of the walls and peeling or flaking paint on the interior wall surfaces. First you must determine how or where the source of water is. The most common reason for moist or wet basements is missing rain gutters or a poorly maintained gutter system. Make sure the rain gutters are clean and downspouts are diverted at least five to seven feet away from the house foundation. Also the soil or grading directly around the exterior of the house should slope away from the foundation. This is called a positive slope and prevents pooling of rainwater along the foundation and moisture seepage into the, basement. The flaking paint on the interior of the basement walls indicates that the water problem still exists and exterior maintenance needs to be done- If you locate the areas on the inside of the basement walls that are having the most problems, most likely directly on the exterior side will be one of these problems.

Question: We own a house that is about 7 years old. On the walls and ceilings we are noticing that there are small round indents approximately .25 inch in diameter. They were never there before and only started appearing in the last couple of years. What is this from?
M.I.R., Ogden

Answer: The indents you are describing are what are known as "nail pops." This is caused by shrinking and drying of the lumber used to build the house. When wood framing members behind the drywall are moist or wet, when they dry they shrink causing the drywall compound covering the nail heads and nails to shift. The solution for this is to install a drywall screw on either side of the pop into the framing member and resetting the popped nail. Finish the screw heads with drywall compound, sand, prime and paint.

Provided by Fritz Gunther of Gunther Home Inspections, Inc., Manitou Road. Spencerport.


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