A flooded crawl space can wreak havoc on your home. Whether your crawl space has taken on an abundance of water due to torrential rain, a sewer backup, or broken/ leaking pipes, one thing is clear. The resulting standing water is a major problem that must be addressed.
Failing to remedy your flooding crawl space issues can result in permanent damage to your home’s foundation, sagging floors, rot, and foul smells. Additionally, standing water and excess moisture in a crawl space creates an attractive breeding ground for mold and even common crawl space pests like mice, rats, and termites. Over time, the cost to repair your damaged home, and the risks to you and your family’s health can really add up.
How to Get Water Out of a Crawl Space
If you find yourself with standing water in your crawl space after a heavy rain or plumbing problem, the first thing you will need to do is remove the water as soon as possible. If you simply wait for the water to go away on its own, you could end up with extensive damage to your home. Sucking the water up with a wet-dry vac or pumping it out with a commercial pump machine (depending on the amount of water present) are typically the most effective methods.
How to Dry Out a Wet Crawl Space
Once you have removed the water from your crawl space, it is essential that you dry out the area thoroughly. Never simply allow the space to air dry. Since wood will soak up moisture at an alarming rate, and cool concrete surfaces retain water much longer than most other materials, a significant amount of moisture will likely remain even after you have removed the puddles of water.
A dehumidifier is extremely effective at removing excess moisture from a damp crawl space. A high-quality machine will eliminate moisture in the air, drastically reducing the chances of mold or mildew development.
Common Flooded Crawlspace Problems
After you have completed your flooded crawl space cleanup routine, the next step is to determine what is causing the water issue in the first place. Some of the more common causes of flooded crawl spaces include:
- Drainage Issues: If your crawl space becomes flooded when it rains heavily, you could likely be facing drainage issues caused from inadequate guttering or downspouts, improper grading of your property, or defective window wells.
- Sump Pump: A missing, defective, improperly installed, or inadequate sump pump can allow rising ground water to seep into your crawl space.
- Cracked Foundations: Even when the proper systems are in place to prevent crawl space flooding, a cracked foundation will still allow water and excess moisture to enter.
- Broken or Leaking Pipes: Leaking water lines can cause a flooded crawl space as well. If your home has older pipes, this increases the risk for crawl space flooding significantly.
- Sewage Backup: Clogged sewage lines or an overwhelmed sewage system could not only cause a flooded crawl space, but could pose hazards to your health also.
Crawl Space Flooding Solutions
Once you have determined the cause of your crawl space flooding problems, it’s time to evaluate adequate solutions. While there are some things that you can fix yourself in order to prevent a flooded crawl space in the future, you may need the assistance of an experienced professional for other remedies.
Correcting Drainage Issues
Downspouts and gutters are specifically designed to direct excess rainwater away from your home. Check to see if your drainage system is clogged, damaged, or not directing water flow in the correct direction. Additionally, it’s a good idea to install extensions at the base of your downspouts to discharge water at least four feet away from your home.
If you have determined that improper sloping or grading is the culprit of your flooding crawl space woes, repair can sometimes be extensive. It might be wise to consult with a professional.
Especially if you experience frequent flooding of your crawl space, it is recommended that you have an adequate sump pump installed. If you already have a sump pump in your crawl space, inspect it to ensure that it is working properly and has been installed correctly. An experienced professional is recommended to properly install, inspect and repair crawl space sump pumps.
Since even small cracks in a foundation can result in water entry and lead to much bigger problems in the future, it’s a good idea to inspect your foundation frequently. If you notice cracks, have them repaired by a professional immediately to avoid a flooded crawl space or other severe property damage.
Broken or Leaking Pipes
Water lines carry water to various areas throughout your home. Old, worn-out pipes, those that have been exposed to extreme temperatures, and those that were improperly sealed can sometimes fail. When broken or leaking pipes are causing your flooded crawl space, the damage to your home can be extensive, and your utility bill could go through the roof. Have a professional inspect your water lines and repair or replace those that are at risk of failing or are already leaking.
Sometimes heavy rains can overwhelm a sewage system. When too much water is trying to get through a sewage system all at once, sewage can sometimes backup through drains. Additionally, clogged sewage pipes can come up through your drains as well. Sewage backup can result in crawl space contamination, extensive water damage, and health problems. If you suspect that your sewage system could be the culprit for a flooded crawl space, it is important to contact a professional for an immediate solution.
Professional Assistance for Crawl Space Flooding
Duncan Plumbing provides 24-hour emergency plumbing services to residents in Santa Cruz, CA and surrounding communities including Aptos, Capitola, San Lorenzo Valley, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. If you are having problems with a flooded crawl space, our specialists will determine the cause and make necessary repairs to help you avoid more costly damages in the future. To learn more about the services we offer, or to schedule an appointment for all of your plumbing needs, contact us today at (831) 476-1712.