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inspecting basements


aelliott
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If you'd be a little more specific, I'd be happy to share in detail my understanding of basements. But in answer to your question: Basements hold the house up and hopefully do not contain water to the point where a boat will float. If either of these areas is jeopardized then the basement is not performing as intended.

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Something I do, especially in older houses, when there's so much that's screwed up, is take three complete passes of every square inch while rambling into my digital recorder. I'm always amazed how on, say the third pass, I see new mud tubes or a cracked joist, or yet another open-air wire splice. Checking out a basement this way is one of my little safeguards to help overcome the limitations of being human and imperfect.

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Think of it as a deep crawlspace. As said before the "walls" are the primary support. A couple of big differences: The support of the rim joist is continuous. These walls need close examination for signs of distress. Basements are utilized by the owner so there are fewer supports (piers in our world). Windows and their wells are another issue. Others can give more detailed info on this.

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