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Inspection reveals potential basement drain problem

Posted by ianb_co (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 20, 07 at 17:41

Hi all! My wife and I are looking at buying a house here in Colorado(our first) but the inspection has revealed one potential issue in the basement. The house is 20 years old. The basement is currently unfinished, and shows no signs of water intruding.
The floor is cracked at the expansion joints and slightly crowned (perhaps by an inch or two) towards the center of the floor. When we pulled the cap off the sump, we found standing water (the float was improperly placed, allowing the sump hole to nearly fill before activating the pump), and roots growing from one of the perimeter drains into the sump hole. We had the sewer inspector run his camera into the other drainpipe (the one with roots was too clogged to do so), and we found it ran downhill away from the sump hole, so there's standing water in the drain pipes even when the sump hole is empty.

The sewer inspector said he sees roots in the drain pipes relatively often, but that there's no good way to address the roots without digging out the drainpipe (he could roto-rooter it but not terribly effectively since there is no external drain for the water and because of the perforated corrugated pipe used; also root-killer would be hard to apply since you can't just flush it in to the pipe, and after escaping could cause unintended damage to plants and trees). Most of the neighbors have built out their cellars (the same developer built all the homes in the neighborhood). I'd hate to have to jackhammer out the existing perimeter drain and reset it prior to finishing the basement. Since there's not been any water in 20 years, should I not worry and just try to address the roots? (The question of how to negotiate it with the seller is a separate problem!)
Thanks - Ian

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Inspection reveals potential basement drain problem

Since you haven't gotten any replies here you might try the Buying and Selling House Forum.

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