As I advised in this previous post, you need to take photographs and videos of the water in your basement. Photographs and videos MAKE or BREAK a leaky basement case. If you have awesome photographs and videos, your sellers will be forced to explain how the conditions depicted therein just magically appeared after they transferred title to you. Your case should settle on favorable terms long before trial. On the other hand, YOU will be on trial if you do not have any photographs of the alleged leaky basement. The sellers' attorney will call you a liar, especially if you claim that there was standing water throughout your basement or property damage.
This advice applies even if you're not considering civil litigation against that "nice old couple" that sold you your home. You should still take photographs and videos because you might have a homeowners insurance claim, particularly if you have a sewer backup or sump pump overflow endorsement.
Here are some pointers for taking photographs of your leaky basement:
- Use a digital camera;
- Ensure adequate lighting;
- Keep a notebook and document the date, time, and location of each photograph;
- Capture the depth and breadth of the water;
- Capture your efforts to clean up the water;
- Capture any damaged building materials, such as drywall, paneling, tile, studwall, and tack strips;
- Capture any walls or floors with staining, bubbling block, or mold;
- Capture any products in your basement that may have been used to conceal evidence that the basement leaked in the past, such as DRYLOK or KILZ; and
- Capture any damaged personal property, such as furniture, exercise equipment, entertainment centers, musical instruments, wedding dresses, etc.
Here are some good photographs from my clients:
|Rotted Wood Stud Wall|
|Leaky Basement Wall|