Water, Water Everywhere! How to Fix a Flooded Crawl Space
The average cost of remodeling the basement for a homeowner in the United States is $62,834.
As a homeowner, a flooded crawl space is a source of headache since if you ignore it, it leads to more severe problems. The more you let water accumulate in your crawl space, the more issues compound, and eventually, fixing your house becomes prohibitive.
If you want to avoid such an experience, you need to know what causes your crawl space to flood. You also need to learn how to fix the problem and prevent it from happening again. Here’s a concise guide to help you achieve just that.
What Can Cause Your Crawl Space to Flood
Anytime you have a problem with water in your crawl space, you need to look above and below the ground.
Above ground water sources tend to deal with piping while the water coming from below ground either seeps in through the walls or foundation. Some specific reasons for water in your crawl space include:
1. Downspout and Gutter Issues
Whenever it rains, your roof collects more water than you can perceive. If the rain hits while you have not cleaned and unclogged your gutters, the water has nowhere to run and will overflow.
That then leads to significant amounts of water collecting around your house. As a result, the landscape grading around your home begins to degrade, and eventually, the water seeps into your crawl space.
2. Poor Landscape Grading
When the soil in your basement or crawl spaces is not graded correctly, it can allow water to pool. Pooled water is risky as it can seep through the foundation or your walls and flood your crawl space.
You, therefore, need to regularly inspect the soil in your crawl space or basement to ensure that part of it isn’t washed away. The most optimal time to conduct such an inspection is after the winter season.
If the landscape is graded correctly, the soil will slope for an inch for every foot. Additionally, a well-done slope should extend outward for six to eight feet.
3. Below Ground Water
Sometimes you do face situations that are beyond your means, and which cause your crawl space to flood.
When you experience a massive storm, sometimes the soil will end up absorbing the water that overflows. Underground drainage meant to direct water away from your residence can clog and introduce water at the subterranean level as well.
No matter what causes subterranean water to collect, the result is that it impacts your water table and ultimately floods your crawl space.
Dealing With a Flooded Crawl Space
So you’ve discovered your crawl space is flooded. Now what? Drying your flooding crawl space can be a labor-intensive exercise.
Before you do anything else, you should eliminate the standing water first. If you are lucky enough to only have a few pooled puddles, using a wet vacuum cleaner should be enough.
However, if you’re facing a case of severe flooding, you may need to use a general-purpose pump. For widespread flooding where the water is not more than an inch deep, a broom can help you sweep out the water.
If you need to use a pump, you should direct it’s suction hose into the water while leading the drainage hose out and away from the house. Take care not to have the pump release the water too close to the home to avoid it flowing back and flooding the crawl space again.
Reposition the suction hose as you pump out the water, to eliminate all standing water.
A critical tip when pumping the water out is to remove any wet item within the crawl space. These wet items tend to hold water in, making it harder to dry the area.
Once all the standing water is gone, proceed with drying the floor, wood framing, and sub-flooring above the crawl space. At this stage, you also need to remove all moldy materials and inspect for lingering puddles.
If it’s all clear, you can use a dehumidifier to dry the crawl space further. Set the machine to run for several hours at 30% to 45%. The warm air will circulate about the crawl space and absorb moisture faster.
You can also add a low-heat light bulb and electric fan to help speed things up.
Preventing Your Crawl Space from Flooding in Future
Prevention is better than cure, and as such, there are a few tips that can help keep your crawl space dry.
1. Install a Sump Pump
If your crawl space keeps flooding regularly, then you need to install a sump pump. A sump pump sits on the basement floor or underneath it in a sump pump hole.
As water seeps into your basement, it then collects in this hole, and the pump gets to redirect it away from your house.
2. Repair Your Drainage
Since the issue at the core of flooding crawl spaces is water that collects around your home, repairing your drainage can be of significant help.
Frequently inspect your gutters to clear any blockage and dirt. Additionally, you need to assess whether the downspouts are in their correct position so that as a whole, the system can drain excess water correctly.
If you have problems with the landscape grading, you should hire a professional to rectify it so that no water will pool in the future.
3. Fix Your Pipes
Conduct a professional inspection of your piping and water lines to identify old, worn-out pipes that need replacing. Any loose seals should also be replaced to avoid water leaks that contribute to flooding of your crawl space.
4. Repair Cracked a Cracked Foundation
Any small cracks can allow water to seep into your crawl space. Due to this, regular inspections of your foundation by a professional are critical to not only avoid future flooding but other substantial issues.
If you come across any cracks in the foundation, treat them as a critical emergency that calls for immediate repair by a professional.
Keep Your Crawl Space Moisture Free
Renovating your basement, though costly and time-consuming, is essential to avoid severe damage once you suffer a flooded crawl space. You need to understand the causes of the flooding, how to deal with it after it happens, and ways to keep it from happening in the future to protect your home.
Sedona Waterproofing Solutions is passionate and experienced about helping you keep your crawl space dry. Talk to us to solve your flooding crawl space and protect your investment.