What to Know When Buying a House With Water Damage

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Water damage in a house can take on many forms. The most notable of these are mold and dry rot. If you are thinking about purchasing a house that has been badly affected by water, keep in mind the following things to avoid making a terrible mistake.


Make sure you have a comprehensive water damage inspection performed. Professionals who know what to look for regarding water damage will be able to spot hidden dangers that you probably won't. These could include structural damage and faulty pipes. You can easily find a number of qualified inspectors for foundations and mold. The peace of mind an inspection will bring is well worth the money invested and in certain cases, the inspectors will need to open walls to see the extent of the damage and for homeowners not receptive to the walls being disturbed, there are some non-evasive tests that can detect water damage behind walls.


Making sure the house is mold-free should be a top priority for both you and your inspection team. The seller will have hopefully already addressed the problem, but if certain factors remain, the mold could easily return. Mold can cause a myriad of health problems such as asthma, headaches, and lung infections. Make sure that your specialist performs an inspection that involves looking behind wallpaper, under carpeting, and in hidden crawl spaces.

Dry Rot

Dry rot is a common by-product of water that eats timber and also the most serious form of fungal decay as it undertakes timber by eating at the parts that give timber its strength. Dry rot generates its own moisture through the digestion of timber and doesn't rely on outside moisture sources to spread. It is recommended that you thoroughly check the house for dry rot. This specific timber fungus is notable because unlike other varieties that may be present, dry rot can spread to other materials. If left unchecked, it could destroy the fabric of the entire house. and can even pass through to the masonry and require isolation by physical containment and masonry sterilization. Affected lumber that exhibiting signs of such fungus must be removed and that wood should be replaced with timber that has been pre-treated to prevent dry rot. With such a problem, you should contact a company that specializes in wood construction and have them survey the damage and provide a more accurate value of the implied alterations.


Once your inspections have been carried out and you have an assessment of how much the repairs and ongoing attention will cost, and factor that into the price you bid for the property. If the seller is not responsive, have your realtor explain to them the extra cost you will incur because of the water damage, and that should be enough to initiate some negotiation towards a reasonable price reduction.


You must be realistic about the house and any water damage it already has. If you make an effort to maintain the property to a high standard by keeping an eye on the existing water damage, you should be able to successfully argue any future claims. If the water damage is extensive, make sure to get the most comprehensive policy you can afford. Determine whether you will be covered if issues related to previous water damage return. Also, make sure any repairs you would be liable for actually fit into your budget before buying the house.