Sequim and Port Angeles have some beautiful lots up high on the hillsides and mountains, which is part of the grand appeal of the area with stunning water views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Sequim Bay, or the International waters between Port Angeles and Victoria, B.C. We have been blessed by nature to have water and beaches on one side and mountains on the other with the Olympic National Forests.
With heavy rains and water drainage from the mountains of the rain forests to the sea, it is inevitable that some of our steep hillsides with classy real estate developments would see their share of water drainage issues. What does this mean for homeowners?
It means that buyers who don’t do their due diligence, and even some who do, can end up with flooding in the crawl space beneath their home, or excess water flow through and over their property. Can this kind of mistake be prevented? Yes, it can, but it all starts with knowing what to look for when buying a home or land in the Sequim or Port Angeles areas.
Natural water run off is often changed or re-directed in a real estate development to allow for building homes, roads, and landscaping. Developers must comply with strict regulations, and nature is left in its natural state as much as possible.
The problem comes when a builder uses gravel fill (often without sufficient compacting) without effective drainage techniques around the foundation and property. The other problem that comes up too often is when a neighbor does excavation, landscaping, or drainage work that re-directs water and its drainage so that it causes damage on an adjacent property or properties. This is legally called water trespass.
A serious drainage problem that leaves water in a crawl space below one’s home can result in health endangering mold and bacteria. Of course, if the drainage is bad enough, it could threaten the foundation of the home.
A good home inspector in Sequim or Port Angeles will immediately recognize signs of excess moisture in a crawl space, and then it is up to you as a buyer to know what to do with that information before you sign off and close. Some unfortunate homeowners have made the mistake of thinking they could close the purchase and resolve the standing water beneath the house later. Do not assume anything. I recommend that you get good counsel when you purchase your home or land. You’ll be glad you did.
Last Updated on July 27, 2012 by Chuck Marunde
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