IV. Basement.

+ 1. General: The basement is currently subdivided into multiple sleeping cubicles, a club room, and a bathroom. These rooms are interspersed and entangled with the boiler room (with someone sleeping on the floor) laundry facilities, and miscellaneous storage and other utilities. The air quality is stifling due to an unvented gas dryer spewing gas, lint, and moisture into the room, damp foundation walls from the roof and gutter conditions discussed above, no exhaust fan in a bathroom being used by 4 or five residents, a clogged toilet, and no functional windows. The boiler also sucks its combustion air from these areas adding further to a low supply of good air. It's unhealthy and unsafe. The basement is capable of housing about 2 people if it were remodeled.

The whole basement should be renovated. All the existing non-bearing materials should be removed and after the plumbing electric and structural improvements are made in the basement and upstairs then a bedroom, laundry room, bathroom, and utility areas can be zoned off.

2. Structure: The floor joists are 3xlO supported on wood and steel beams. Concrete has been poured between the joists to form a subfloor for the living room.

+ The only structural repair needs visible are under the living room fireplace. Termites have eaten the joists around the fireplace and the connections between the joists are no longer in tact. The subflooring is holding up the joist.

There is also a broken joist about 6 feet in front of the boiler. There is substantial termite damage in the partition framing around the boiler. I found no evidence of current activity but the building should be monitored for termites by a pest control agency. We suspect that if you were to undertake a full scale remodeling that included gutting and renovating the basement that you will find other termite damage hidden in the ceilings.


Figure 14. These termite eaten joists under the Great Room fireplace need to be repaired.

3. Ventilation: The boiler and water heater need air for combustion. Currently they draw air from the rest of the contiguous rooms. This is a safety hazard if these areas are to be used as sleeping areas (as they are now). The dryer air is also being drawn into the boiler combustion. If you remove the basement sleeping quarters then you can let the boiler derive its air from the basement. If there is going to be people sleeping down there then the boiler and water heater should draw their air from outside.

 

End of Part IV (The Basement)

Click below for each of the other parts of the Inspectors' Report

COVER LETTER

INTRODUCTION

I......Grounds

II.....Roofs, Gutters, Chimneys, and Vents

III....Exterior Walls

IV....Basement [You're already here]

V.....Electrical System

VI....Plumbing

VII...Heating

VIII..Bathrooms and Kitchen

IX....Attic

X.....General Interior

 

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