I'm looking at an REO property that has been "winterized" and I am a little concerned about the conditions in the basement. There is roughly 3" of water ( ice ) in the basement. The furnace and hot water heater are on blocks so it did not reach them. There is a sump so clearly the basement has water issues. The walls are cinderblock, and although it appears to be up pretty high, it's impossible to tell where the water table is. I Though perhaps the "winterization crew" just opened the water heater and water tank, and that is where the water cam from. or perhaps a pipe did break before the winterization, but I would think id that were so it would be more than 3".

My concerns are this ... where did the water come from, Do I have to worry about damage to the structure from the water if it's frozen If I go through with the purchase how do I remove / keep the water out of the basement until I can get the electric turned on?enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 2
    Do you see that white salt on the walls behind the furnace? That's efflorescence, salts leaching out of the brick due to moisture seepage through the concrete. I'd be willing to bet that there is a slow steady seepage all over the basement. (But I'm not excluding any actual leaks as well) Jan 22, 2016 at 18:10
  • Run. Run far and fast. This house needs bulldozed unless they advertised an in-basement ice skating rink. Jan 22, 2016 at 22:54

1 Answer 1


From the efflorescence on the walls, I'd bet there's slow steady seepage through the blocks and the mortar. The only solution for this would be an external entrenching and wrap.

Also:enter image description here

  • That makes sense, any thoughts on how this will weather the next month or so? I'm concerned that by the time I would actually acquire the property the ice level will be up over the furnace and or water heater, or will the colder weather prevent additional seepage
    – user379468
    Jan 22, 2016 at 19:30
  • Here in Southern Ontario, my sprinkler system at 18" deep doesn't freeze. So any ground water below that will not freeze up either. Jan 22, 2016 at 21:14
  • Hmm thats strange, the water on the floor is already frozen, and it is 6 feet below grade .... perhaps it's a draftier than usual basement
    – user379468
    Jan 22, 2016 at 21:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.