WWYD (what would you do)

3 Replies

Hello BP!

I have been renting out my old house for a year now and it has done me well. I've learned a lot from BP but now I need some advice about waterproofing the basement. I was well aware that water would pool in spots after heavy rains and even told my tenant to be cautious of it and let me know if it became a bigger problem, and it did. By the time I got to the house to observe the issue she had it all cleaned up but the funk was still in the air. It's an unfinished basement that is used for storage, laundry, and HVAC. I need it dry down there so the air and won't be rough on appliances and allow mold growth. 

I got a quote from a waterproofing and foundation repair company for damned near 14.5k and it's quite a shock. I believe the work needs to be done but maybe this work would be overdoing it because the basement isn't finished. There is a good side to this, having this work done will guarantee the basement will never leak again and it will be under warranty for the life of the home, it is also transferable if I sell the house in the future, making the property more appealing. The loan is 9.9% for 20 years and even at that length, it is eating up all of the properties cashflow.

Yes, I shopped around but the other 2 places I called were not able to send someone out to give me a quote at convenient times. One could not make it out for a month! Maybe I should postpone the work until I can get more than one solid quote.

The home is worth ~105k and I still owe ~87k. I get 800/month for rent and cashflow ~200. 

I don't make a ton of money, between my spouse and I we make ~90k per year and we have our first baby on the way. I am worried that if I go ahead with the repairs that I will be too short on cash when something else breaks down. 

Now I ask, WWYD?

@Matthew T Hutson

I would wait to get 2 or 3 more quotes. It sounds like this company quoted you to install interior drain tiles, not sure what other foundation issues you might have. 

Have you address any potential issues outside of the house? such as cleaning your gutters, extending the downspouts as far as you can, regrading all the soil around - especially the areas where there is water pooling. 

A "warranty" is only good if the business is still operating, and how well their follow up services are. 

If it's still damp now, rent a couple of commercial fans and dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity. After that, put in a dehumidifier with a drain hose pump (So that your tenant don't have to go there to drain it everything it is full) until you figure out a more permanent solution. 

Here're some good tips

How to keep your basement from flooding, and what to do if it does.

Yes @Chris T. , they will install drain tiles inside and also dig about 3 ft. down, around the outside of the house to seal any cracks and refill mortar joints. The house was built in 1940 so it is a block foundation that has eroded a bit. I have already extended the gutter drains out but the problem persists. 

Since you lived there before, did you go outside during a heavy rainfall to observe where the water is flowing to? 

If you see any water pooling just outside of the house, it means that area is graded towards your house. Make sure you regrade it.