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Seattle Bubble Forums - View topic - Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!

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 Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help! 
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:25 pm
Posts: 6
Post Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
I just closed on a 31 yr old home in Lake Forest Park on Aug 18th and discovered last week during the heavy rain that the foundation is leaking in 4 different spots, and leaking badly. Our inspector saw 2 of the leaks and said that they appeared to be fixed since there is stuff smeared on it...it wasnt fixed. The leaks were not disclosed to us either and now we are stuck trying to figure out what we can do so we do not have to pay for a foundation company to come and fix the issue that we were not told about. Is there any recourse that we have that can get the home repaired without us paying for it? Thank you everyone.
:cry:


Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:35 pm
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:05 pm
Posts: 16
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
Good morning Richard,

Before I venture into a discussion about how to get it done for free..... I have a few questions about why a few leaks are a problem?...

Is the "foundation" a wall of a basement a living area? Describe the space..


Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:03 am
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:25 pm
Posts: 6
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
The first leak is in our utility room where the furnace and hot water resides. That wall that is leaking is a concrete wall that is not an exterior wall but rather a interior wall that has the garage above it. There is no room next to the wall just dirt. The other 3 leaks are in the sub basement and are on exterior facing concrete walls. All 4 of the leaks have had some apoxy spread on it that has not worked at all =(. On our form 17 the buyer checked No when asked if the basement has flooded of leaked.

Hope this helps and thank you =)


Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:28 pm
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:05 pm
Posts: 16
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
OK. Richard. First caveat, is that I am not an attorney. I don't intend to give you legal advice. I do advise you to seek an attorney immediately.

That said...Take lots of video and photos. Act promptly.

I would have your attorney send a letter to each party associated with the transaction.....the seller who filled out the disclosure form, the sellers agent, the sellers broker, your home inspector, your agent. The letter should set out the facts that you had done your due diligence and had been advised and assured by each of these parties that the "repairs" had been done and the walls did not leak.... But contrary to all of those assurances they do in fact leak only 3 weeks after closing due to no fault of your own.

Your attorney will advise you of your choice of remedies, which could include Rescinding the sale or Repairing the faults and suing for reimbursement of your expenses. The professionals, in particular the Home Inspector has insurance for this kind of thing.

Most likely, because you were aware of the faults and were willing to purchase the property with flaws that had been repaired, you should choose to have the leaks stopped by a contractor/engineer of your choice so that you have the situation that you originally bargained for.

Once that is accomplished then sue for reimbursement from each of the other parties.

It's a hassle and will take a while but that's the way it goes...

Again, this is only my non-legal opinion and sense of how it will go.


Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:29 pm
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Bubble Bloviator

Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 200
Location: Redmond, WA
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
You can be sure that this is not the first time that water has leaked in. Consider yourself fortunate that you are finding this out now. Was this defect listed on the Form 17 (IIRC that's what it is called)?

Solution? Either eliminate water source (often difficult if not impossible) but check for downspout discharge locations, yard sloped towards the foundation, and other potential sources for outside water.

Long-term solution is to lower the hydraulic pressure on the other side of the walls. This is typically done by saw-cutting a trench in the floor along the perimeter walls and installing a drainage pipe which leads to a sump in one corner in which a sump pump is located. Trench is filled with drain rock and then cemented over. Pump discharges outside somewhere where the water will not make it back into the house.

If you plan on ever finishing any of the basement spaces, they have these really-cool 1/4" thick "water-collection" panels that are porous on the back and sealed on the opposite side which are permanently attached to the cement walls, with the bottoms of the panels draining into the floor trenches described above. Wall is then covered with moisture barrier and finished conventionally. Any moisture which makes it through the cement wall is collected by this panel and harmlessly drained away.

Of course, any time you are dependent upon an electrically-powered pump to keep your house dry, you have to also think about what happens during a power outage (which tend to occur during the big winter storms). They have battery-powered backup pump systems available (good if you are away from home when the power is out), or you can consider a small generator.

Don't ask me how I know all this stuff! My crawl space turns into an Olympic-sized pool when the power is out for a few hours during a storm. Yes, I did know about this when I bought the place. Yes, I have spare pumps in the shed as well as a generator and fresh gas. Yes, it sucks to own a house with water problems (sewer problems warrant a completely separate post and I'll spare you the details).

Let us know if you are spitting in the ocean, swimming against the current, or just rolling down the river, as this story goes downstream.

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Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:12 pm
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:25 pm
Posts: 6
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
Thank you for the insight everyone. I have scheduled for a foundation specialist to come and look at the problem. In the meantime I will be moving one of the downspouts to the side of the house in hopes the diversion will minimize the leakage into the house. I am in search of a good realestate attorney but am having a hard time finding a good one =/


Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:48 pm
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:34 pm
Posts: 18
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
1) Get bids and solutions from basement water proofing companies. Bodine Construction is top of the line. Allied is usually a bid in the mix and Perma Dry is used often in the area. Those three should give you the range of solutions, some of which are warrantied for life.

2) Try Craig Blackmon or Marc as to attorney at WA Law. I'll send Craig a link to this forum thread.


Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:11 pm
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:54 am
Posts: 2
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
Richardthan -- the very first step in your analysis is to determine the cost to cure the defect that was concealed. Once you know that number you can make an informed decision as to whether or not it makes sense to hire an attorney -- because we are expensive you need to insure that you have a chance of recovering significantly more than what you will spend on your attorney.

Feel fre to give me a call to chat specifically about your situation.


Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:47 pm
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:25 pm
Posts: 6
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
Thank you for the help Ardell...I will be contacting Bodine Const. tomorow morning to see if they can give me an estimate also. So far i have Aquos solutions, and Perma Dry coming out to take a look.


Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:30 pm
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:34 pm
Posts: 18
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
You are very welcome. As I mentioned to Craig, my biggest concern for you is that you have publicly made this statement: "Our inspector saw 2 of the leaks and said that they appeared to be fixed since there is stuff smeared on it."

To me that reads you bought the house with full knowledge that it had leaked in the past, and might leak again in the future, given they "appeared to be fixed" with no guarantees that the problem was fixed.

Actually from that statement I would have to assume it was NOT fixed, as "stuff smeared on it" is not the normal remedy for such a problem. Whether there were 2 holes leaking or 4 holes leaking seems irrelevant, as once you know there are holes leaking...you are on notice that it is going to leak. As soon as the inspector saw that problem, you likely should have called for estimates as part of the inspection contingency. Not sure why you didn't, and why you expected a dry basement after being advised about leaks and holes with stuff smeared over the holes.

If you intend to pursue this legally, I would seriously recommend that you remove this forum question from the internet, as it suggests to me that you should have known about this problem before you closed escrow.


Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:10 am
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Bubble Blatherer

Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:48 am
Posts: 148
Location: Seattle
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
The suggestion that the post be removed from the internet is inappropriate.

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David Losh
206-523-2733
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Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:09 pm
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:34 pm
Posts: 18
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
Why, David? I think most any attorney who might represent this issue would agree with me on that. Why do you think it is inappropriate? Do you think preserving the "internet" is more important than preserving this home buyer's rights?

That's a pretty silly comment there David...but then...I'll consider the source.


Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:55 pm
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:05 pm
Posts: 16
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
And here, Richardthan, you can see what a lawsuit would look like. A circle of fingerpointers.

Ardell, my interpretation of Richardthans' statement is that the leaks had been identified, and he had recieved some sort of assurance that they were repaired. This forum certainly isn't a sworn statement type of communication anyway. He could have been unclear or imprecise in his blogging.

In his non professional, consumer position he relied upon the representations or statements of the professionals around him. "Detrimental Reliance" might be the legal term. Or "Negligence". I've had Realtors strongly advise me to pursue further inspections out of an abundance of caution on their parts..

The realtors each had incentive to close the deal, not waive the buyer off.

I haven't read the inspector's report. Unless it states in writing that the foundation appears to leak or have leaked recently, RT has a strong case that he felt assured by the inspection that the work was sufficient. Errors and Omissions insurance.


Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:21 am
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Bubble Blatherer

Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:48 am
Posts: 148
Location: Seattle
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
Completely inappropriate.

This person is asking for a way around an inspection report, and personal observation. That's the statement.

Your entire dialog may be appreciated as a recommendation, then turns silly.

You are not an attorney, you involved an attorney, then Craig wants to figure out the basis of his fee.

It's just silly.

I would caution any one, and every one, about advice you get about Real Estate from an internet forum. We are all here to promote ourselves. Consider that, when considering the source.

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David Losh
206-523-2733
http://www.FixerFixer.com


Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:21 pm
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Bubble Watcher

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:34 pm
Posts: 18
Post Re: Newly purchased house has 4 leaks in the foundation...help!
Haybaler,

Most contracts between a home buyer and a home inspector limit the inspectors obligation with regard to identifying water intrusion issues. Consequently the inspectors E & O generally would not cover a water intrusion issue.

David,

At minimum if Richard consults an attorney, he should seek that attorney's opinion as to whether or not the statements he has made here would hurt him in pursuit of this issue. The last thing you want is for the attorney on the other side to bring in this statement, and for Richard's attorney to not have known it was here...in print. Surprises are not good in a Court Room.

To me it reads that the buyer should not be surprised if water comes in, given he was told that water had come in in the past, and the remedy was not a warranted fix. Maybe everyone would not read it that way, but only Richard's attorney can decide if it is worth the risk of leaving that comment here. I can't see any reason why an attorney would want it to remain on the internet.

A warranted fix for this type of problem can cost many thousands of dollars...not a "silly" issue.


Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:42 pm
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