Waterlogged in your crawl space? Wondering what the source can be?

If this is your concern, then you are in the right place. In this article, we will be discussing the five most common causes of water accumulation in your crawl space.

Recently, Crawl spaces are getting way more generalized and universal than it used to be. In some areas, it is far more favored than basements or slab constructions. It is generally a remote portion of your house where you don’t usually visit, but owing to its usefulness, it has been experiencing growing popularity these days. The crawl space mostly allows access to some vital parts of your home. So now you can avoid spending several bucks on building an expensive basement!

That being said, few difficulties can arise when you have a crawl space. The worst of it all is water accumulation or, flooding of your crawl space. Damage by water is one of the most horrible problems that your house can face as it can damage both the structure and appearance, needless to mention how costly the damage repair can get as well. Some health issues might also be a concern because water accumulation may eventually lead to the formation of mold, which is very unhygienic.

What is the first thing that comes to our mind when thinking of water accumulation in our crawl space?

Do you have damaged or broken water lines inside your home?

Do you remember the last time you checked out your crawl space?

Well, if you haven’t done anytime soon, its time you head down now, to check out the condition and to prevent any severe damage.

You will never want to head down to your crawl space and find it wet or water accumulated there. However, knowing a few precautions and prevention methods, along with the dangers of standing water in the crawl space to your house, will always come handy in times of need.

It is advisable not to wait till you find a wet crawl space; instead, take measures to complete crawl space repairs in advance before it is too late. Installing vents in your crawl space is also very essential, and most people do it as well. It is also widespread for homeowners to encapsulate their crawl space to prevent moisture build-up as well as mold because all it needs for mold to grow is moisture and darkness and both of these are available in abundance down there. Remember that mold can easily be conveyed through the ventilation system and can also grow on piers and joists then, compromising the structural integrity of the house.

All that being said, let’s go ahead and look down at five common causes of water in your crawl space.

Grading Issues

Water due to surface water drainage and improper landscape grading may result in the accumulation of water in your crawl space especially if grading is not done correctly, and there is trapped water against the foundation. Things can get worst if this occurs during a rainstorm or flash flooding as water can get into your crawl space. If the water gets too deep, then the vents might also turn into spouts for water ingress. This will ultimately lead to a growing amount of standing water in your crawl space.

Some grime and debris from the water trapped against the foundation may start blocking the vents. In that case, there will be high chances for moisture to build-up in the crawl space, causing long-lasting damage. These conditions need an immediate remedy.

Damage or cracks in the foundation

As the house ages and settling occurs. Settling is a natural process that all houses go through. But this may give rise to some cracks and gaps in the foundation, thus reducing its ability to resist water. In that case, there is an ample chance that water will seep through and cause the formation of mold and warping of the wood giving rise to some severe health issues and damaging your house. The worst possible effect of this will be on the wood of your foundation as wood absorbs water and starts expanding. Expanded wood will give you uneven flooring, and the wood might even rot, repairing which will be a massive blow to your pocket.

Plumbing leaks and leaking window

Plumbing leaks are probably the first thing that comes to the mind when talking about standing water in crawl space. There are several pipes designated to supply and drainage system that runs through this area, and let’s be honest, they do leak occasionally. Now, because the crawl space is a comparatively a remote area, chances are it will probably be long enough before you even notice it. Worst case scenario? Visible damages may have already surfaced by the time you see it. It is particularly more damaging when the broken water lines leak onto gravel and dirt rather than on plastic or someplace which cannot absorb water. Leakages can also occur from air conditioner condensate lines. Those lines are of not the same quality as plumbing lines and are more prone to damage or leakage because they pass through space.

Nowadays, it is imperative to have vents and windows installed in your crawl space. The area is called the window well, and if there is any kind of damage or leakage that occurs in those vents and windows, water ingress will occur. However, the sooner you can notice these problems, the faster you can act on the necessary steps to deal with the aftermath.

All you have to do is call for the designated professionals to get the required crawl space repairs done to stop damage on a vast scale before it gets out of hand. This is a reason why many people prefer getting their crawl space encapsulated in the first place to stop such kinds of problems from even occurring.

Malfunction in water or sewer line

The daily intake and output of water through the lines installed in our house is tremendous. Several water supply lines come from the municipality, sewer lines that go out from our home as well as other drainage lines. Unless you are living in extreme circumstances, all of this intake and output happens via the plumbing lines installed in our house, most of which runs through the crawl space. Other than those, there are also water heater lines, air conditioner condensate lines among many others that also pass through the crawl space.

If any of these pipes break or clog, water can start leaking giving rise to a pool in your crawl space. A broken line can also dump a vast amount of water in your crawl space.

Things can get even worse if there is a leakage in any of the sanitary lines. This can cause serious health issues and might be pretty hazardous, not to mention how problematic it can become to deal. In that case, just repairing the broken lines won’t be enough, you will need professionals to complete the repair, deal with the damage done as well as clean up.

Clogged drainage lines or low-point drains

In the case of torrential rain or natural disasters, the drains in the vicinity of your house may get clogged or overwhelmed. Your drainage system might very well be inadequate in its capabilities to deal with the incredible amount of water. You may be inclined towards installing a French drain which is often called weeping tile as well. What it does is, it redirects the surface and groundwater away from your property. It is a trench filled with rocks and gravels alike and involves a slotted or perforated pipe and some sort of geotextile fabric. However, even after the best instalments at the place, and measure taken for prevention, drainage systems do get overwhelmed, and water begins to find the path of least resistance to back up. This can cause the water to get straight into your home and cause severe damages that can cost thousands of dollars to recover.

What can be done first hand to deal with such cases? 

As ugly as it might appear, the damage as well as the monetary cost, there is always the first step. In this case, a wet-dry vacuum may come in handy to get rid of the standing water. It is widely available for purchase as well as for rent and is also perfect for jobs of small magnitude. However, if the standing water is too deep, you might need a professional or a specialist. A plumber will be your first go-to professional for help. Always remember, prevention is better than cure. Dealing with the aftermath of standing water in your crawl space will be very taxing both physically and economically, so it is better to take precautionary measures beforehand to stop it from happening at all.

Use a Sump Pump and make gutter improvements

“What is the most efficient way of removing water from your crawl space?”

Well, the sump pump is the answerIt is connected to a sump pit, and the accumulated water gets pumped out, protecting your crawl space.

However, in case of a sump pump failure, there’s not much you can do other than get yourself to work. So make sure you perform proper overhauling and maintenance on the sump pumps when and as required.

You can also put in work towards making gutter extensions and improvements on the downspouts. Gutter extensions are especially helpful when your downspouts are capable of ejecting water less than 10 feet. The rainwater should be allowed to move away from your house freely, and gutter extensions will help them.

For more related information about water removal form your crawl space, do not forget to contact us!


About Lisa McIntyre

Lisa McIntyre has always resided in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. She graduated from University of Cincinnati with a degree in Applied Science. Ultimately, her passion for science and teaching came to fruition after her husband requested her assistance in developing Dry Effect Restoration Services. She was able to develop her knowledge, degrees and certifications further in many indoor air quality associations and organizations. Thus allowing her to educate Realtors and Insurance Agents on the damages that many common indoor air quality irritants and water bacterial growths can lead to in ones home or business. Over 10 years later she’s glad to have taken the leap of faith to assist her husband what seemed to be a fun project into a lifetime achievement and to see the individuals she teaches prosper from their newly found knowledge.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *