How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

  1. 1)barrier under the slab that’s necessary for a conditioned living area may be missing. In our North Florida area, enclosing a carport is a popular way to add living space to an older home, and a sweating floor in the new Family Room is sometimes the result.
       There are masonry sealers available that can applied to the floor, but we suggest consulting a construction professional for advice before proceeding,
    since getting good adhesion of the sealer to the wet floor can be difficult and another retrofit solution may be better for your specific situation.

  2. 2)Condensation - In the spring, when the ground is still cool but the air is warm, an especially wet, humid morning will cause condensation to form on a concrete slab in the outdoor air. This can also occur in a garage, which is not exactly outdoors, but also not a conditioned space. The condensation will be more noticeable if the slab has a smooth surface from a layer of porch floor paint. While you cannot stop this from occurring once in a while, applying a coating with slip-resistant granules to the area is one solution to the problem.

  3. 3)Water pipe leak under floor slab - A leaking water pipe will also cause moisture to move up through a floor slab and initially mimic the sweating caused by a missing vapor barrier. But eventually the water will start to pond in an area or bubble up from small cracks. In one home we inspected last year, water squirted up through the joints of the engineered wood flooring underfoot as your walked across it. The culprit was eventually determined to be a long-term water pipe leak under the concrete slab.
       Inspection with a infrared camera can helpful in determining if an under-floor pipe leak is the problem, since it will display the levels of the moisture around the floor, and pipe leaks tend to show up as a plume of moisture in one area. Even with a moisture barrier under the slab, the hydrostatic pressure buildup from the leak will push water through any tiny breaks or areas of deterioration of the plastic.


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here. ©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

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