When you're interested in buying a home, attending an open house will tell you a lot about the property — including some things that the seller doesn't want you to know. Although conscientious sellers and their agents should divulge issues such as basement water damage, it's possible that you'll encounter a situation in which the seller is trying to prevent you from noticing this issue has occurred. In such a scenario, you'll need to wear your detective's hat to identify signs that the basement once sustained water damage. Here are some issues that could suggest this problem.
Heavy Use Of Scented Products
One of the biggest indicators that a home's basement has had water damage is that it can smell of mildew. This is especially the case if the water damage was not addressed professionally, resulting in mildew remaining. The homeowner trying to sell the house may attempt to disguise this smell in the basement through the heavy use of scented products. For example, there may be multiple scented candles burning in the basement, plug-in air fresheners, or other types of products that change the smell. The use of these products in the main areas of a home during an open house might be common, but it's a bit unusual to see scented products in the basement — and this should make you concerned about water damage.
A basement with new-looking flooring hasn't necessarily sustained water damage, but this is a situation that should make you wary. If the basement had previously flooded, the homeowner may have simply put down click flooring or carpet in an effort to cover any water marks left on the concrete floor. While you shouldn't necessarily stay away from making an offer, you'll definitely want to have a home inspector carefully check for signs of water damage if you encounter this situation.
Another sign that can indicate the presence of water in the basement is seeing damage to the baseboards, quarter-round, and any other trim used in the space. When they're in prolonged contact with water, the wooden baseboards can warp. This can result in a lack of evenness at the seams between baseboards or baseboards that have started to pull away from the wall. The homeowner may have corrected this issue where the baseboards are evident, so you should always check their condition behind furniture and other places where they're out of plain sight.
If you decide to purchase a home that has endured water damage in the past, contact a business such as A Steam Pro Carpet Cleaning.