A wet basement smells and feels gross, as well as poses a risk to your property value. Left alone, moisture can ruin floors and walls, encouraging mold to grow.
Some wet basements are easily cured by thoroughly cleaning the gutters and diverting drain water away from the foundation. But if the issue comes from other sources-backing up through storm drains, seeping in from underground, or water flowing towards the home on the surface- you must take quick action to stop water from getting in your Louisville basement.
Murphy’s law would have it, that if something can go wrong, it will- and of course water seeping into your basement would happen while trying to sell your Louisville home.
So to help you take on this issue at hand, we’ll look at what your next step should be when dealing with water in the basement and how to sell a water damaged house in Louisville.
Water In Basement In Louisville – Can You Sell It?
Water Seepage In The Basement
If you’re dealing with a basement leak, before you jump into getting repairs, make sure to determine the exact cause of the leak. Here are five common causes of water seepage in a Louisville basement.
Cause #1 Leaky Pipes
Unwanted moisture can sometimes come from damaged or old plumbing. While these repairs may seem like a simple fix, some leaks can be indicators of a larger problem.
Cause #2 Faulty Landscaping
Landscaping that is poorly graded can result in standing water around the outside of your property, which will eventually seep into the basement.
Cause #3 Lateral Pressure
The soil surrounding your basement can absorb water, making it expand, resulting in your basement walls cracking and creating a pathway for water to come in.
Cause #4 Hydrostatic Pressure
Hydrostatic pressure is the upward flow of groundwater through saturated soil. As water rises, hydrostatic pressure builds under your foundation, which forces water through tiny cracks in your basement.
Cause #5 Window Wells
If you have clogged window wells, they can fill with water and eventually drain into your basement and cause water seepage.
Once you figure out the source of the basement water, you will need to address it to stop the seepage.
Water Leaking into Basement Solutions
When you pinpoint the location of the leak, you may want to hire an expert to make the necessary repairs. Still, there are a few ways to help prevent future water from seeping into your Louisville basement. Here are eight ways to help keep water out of your basement.
- Reshape the Landscaping
Use dirt to make a berm ( a mound of dirt) or a swale (a wide, shallow ditch) that slopes away from your house. When landscaping is adequately graded, it will eliminate standing water and leakage. In smaller areas, beams are easy, and a landscape contractor can build one for a few hundred dollars. But on a bigger project, building a berm doesn’t make sense because you will have to truck in a lot of soil. In that instance, digging a swale may be a better idea and would cost about $1,000. Once your landscaping fills in, berms and swales can be an attractive addition to your yard. Gutter extensions and French drains are additional tools to help with keeping water away from your house.
- Add Gutter Extensions
If your gutter downspouts are dumping water less than 5 feet away from your home, you can add plastic or metal gutter extensions to guide the water farther away from your property. Gutter extensions are not the most effective long-term solution or the neatest, especially because you can trip over them or run over them with your lawnmower. Another invisible solution is a permanent underground drain pipe like a French drain which is capable of directing large quantities of water runoff farther away from your home.
- Plug Gaps
If you see water dribbling into your basement through gaps or cracks around plumbing pipes, for less than $20, you can plug the openings yourself with polyurethane calk or hydraulic cement.
Keep in mind though that plugs work when the issue is simply a hole that water is oozing through, either from wet soil or surface runoff. But if you notice the water is coming up through the floor or at the joint where the wall and floor meet, the issue is probably groundwater, and unfortunately, plugs won’t do the trick.
- Restore the Crown
If your gutters are working and you have plugged the obvious holes, but you still see water dribbles in your basement or crawl space from high on the foundation walls, then surface water is not draining away from the property as it should.
Your property should be situated on a “crown” of soil that slopes at least 6 inches over the first 10 feet in every direction.
Over time, the soil can settle around the foundation and you will need to build the crown back with a shovel and dirt.
Something else you could look into getting at a landscape supply company is water-shedding clay-loam mix. This mix can be used around your foundation to build-up the crown.
- Repair Footing Drains
If water is seeping into your basement low on the walls or at the seam where the wall meets the floor, you’re probably dealing with hydrostatic pressure pushing water up from the ground.
The first thing to do is check whether you have footing drains- underground pimples installed when the home was being built to carry water away from the foundation. A footing drain looks like a maintenance hole or drain in your basement floor or may look like a cleanout pipe capped a few inches above the floor.
If the drains get clogged, open the cleanout and flush the lines with a hose, if that doesn’t seem to work, a plumber will be able to do the job for about $600 with an augur.
- Install a Curtain Drain
If your footing drains are not working properly, install a curtain drain to divert water traveling underground toward your home.
A curtain drain is a type of French drain that is a shallow trench- 2 feet deep and 1.5 feet
across- that is filled with gravel and perforated pipes that catch water uphill of your property and carries it down the slope a safe distance from your home.
If the curtain drain passes through an area with shrubs or trees, consider changing to a solid pipe to reduce the chance of roots growing into the piping and causing it to clog.
- Pump the Water
If you’re unable to keep underground water out, you will have to channel the water from the inside.
To create this interior drain system involves sawing a channel around the outside of the floor, chipping out the concrete, and laying perforated piping in the hole. The pipe will then drain to a collection tank at the lowest point in the basement, where a sump pump shoots it out of the house.
This interior solution is not cheap, costing about $3,000 but is the best and least destructive option in an unfinished basement offering easy access. It will also be a good choice if your yard is full of mature landscaping that could be destroyed by digging an exterior drainage system.
- Waterproof the Basement Walls
After installing an internal drainage system, the water will get out but won’t make the walls waterproof. For that, you will need an external system, exterior waterproofing to protect the foundation, and a French drain to relieve hydrostatic pressure.
It will be a big job that will require excavating around the home, but it may be the best option if you have a foundation with multiple gaps. It will also keep the mess and water outside, which could be the best choice if you don’t want to tear up your finished basement.
The only downside is that this can cost $20,000, and your yard will likely take a beating, possibly even affecting your walkways and decking.
After you take steps to fix the issues, there could still be mold growth problems you will need to address. And unfortunately, if your basement is finished, you will probably need to replace items affected by the water. If your homeowner’s insurance covers it, that’s great, but if not, you could be out thousands of dollars replacing everything and preventing future water in the basement.
Maybe water leaking into the basement was the reason for thinking about selling your house, or perhaps you were already thinking about moving, and this happened. Either way, trying to figure out if you should fix the basement water damage before you sell is a hard decision to make. Especially when you would be investing your time and money into a house you won’t be living in anymore.
Let’s take a look at what your next steps should be when trying to sell a house with water in the basement in Louisville.
Sell a House With Water in the Basement in Louisville
In general, selling a house is hard, add basement water damage, and you may have a more difficult time selling. When it comes to selling a home with water in the basement, you will likely be advised to repair the basement before listing. The same would be said for other repairs around the house too. Potential buyers nowadays are looking for homes that are move-in ready, people usually aren’t looking for a home that instantly needs work and money invested in it. It makes sense. Would you buy a house that needs repairs as soon as you move in?
As tempting as it may be not to do the repairs or acknowledge the water damage or any other issues with the house to prospective buyers, you are legally obligated to disclose this information to the buyer. The state of Kentucky requires you to submit a disclosure statement in writing before any purchase contract is signed. So not being upfront about these problems could cause legal repercussions down the road.
If you’re unsure what all needs to be done to the house besides fixing the basement water damage, hire a home inspector to come out to evaluate the property, this will give you an idea of what all needs to be replaced or fixed. To hire a home inspector in Kentucky costs about $300-$1,000. This is one way to determine all the repairs that need to be done before listing your home.
After you get a good idea of the repairs that need to be made besides the basement water damage, you will need to decide how you would like to sell your home. People selling a house typically list with a real estate agent, sell-by-owner, or sell to a homebuyer. Let’s take a look at each of these options.
Sell with a Real Estate Agent
Selling your property with a Kentucky realtor isn’t a bad idea. A real estate agent would know how to handle the selling process and marketing your home. They usually require you to sign a 3-6 month listing agreement and agree to pay them a 5-6% commission upon the sale of your property. That is something to keep in mind if you’re looking to sell quickly and would like to save some money selling your home. For example, if you were to sell your home for $200,000, the realtor’s commission would cost $12,000, and the agent would lock you into a 3-6 month time frame to sell your home. For many people, this is money that could be put towards their next house and giving someone 3-6 months to sell their home doesn’t sound promising- which makes selling by- owner seem more appealing.
For sale by owner or FSBO is another option to selling your water damaged house. The advantage of selling your house on your own is to save on a realtor commission, but all the work an agent does to sell a home will fall to you to handle. Would you have the extra time to handle fixing your water damaged basement, figure out the drainage situation, make other repairs around the house, as well as handling all the aspects of selling your home? It would be a lot to ask anyone to do. For most people, having the pressure of selling their own home makes them look for other alternatives like selling to a local homebuyer.
Sell to a Homebuyer
Selling your home to a local Kentucky home buyer is a great solution when dealing with water in the basement. A home buyer like Time Worthy Property Solutions is actually an as-is buyer. So instead of dealing with fixing your water damaged basement, you can sell your home as-is. No repairs or renovations are necessary. This option would save you thousands of dollars on repairs and weeks of repair work.
→ Learn more about How to Get a Fair Offer From a Louisville House Flipper.
Besides buying your house as-is, Time Worthy Property Solutions also can close within 7-14 days, unlike a traditional home sale in Kentucky that takes 47 days. They’re able to do this because they pay in cash instead of conventional bank financing that is subject to contingencies and inspections before approval.
Hiring a realtor or even listing your home isn’t necessary either, since Time Worthy Property Solutions would directly purchase your house. So you wouldn’t be charged any agent commissions, and they would even pay your closing costs. This is another huge advantage of selling to a home buyer.
Dealing with water leaking in your basement is a big deal, especially when you’re considering selling your house at the same time. You will need to weigh your options and decide if you want to put in the time and effort in fixing your home to sell or just pass all that work on to an as-is buyer like Time Worthy Property Solutions.
If you decide to fix the basement water damage, just make sure to hire a professional to help you make the repairs you need. That way, things are done correctly if you’re unsure how to fix the water leaking in the basement yourself. Also, if any extensive repairs need to be completed, they may require permits, just make sure to check on that with your contractor and local city codes, that way, you’re not having unpermitted work done to your property.
After the work is done, make sure to disclose everything to the next homeowner, that way, you can avoid any legal issues down the road.
Or you can avoid all that and just sell your house as-is and get a cash offer on your home with Time Worthy Property Solutions.