Water is the enemy of homes in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area. Our homes here in the Pacific Northwest are constantly shielding us from the abundance of rainfall. Most of the time they do a good job and keep water flowing away from the house, but sometimes water can find a way inside your home. When water seeps in through your roof, you are sure to find it, but when water makes its way in underneath your home and into your crawl space, it is not so easy to detect. Often times, standing water can go unnoticed for months, even years, slowly damaging the structural stability of your home.
If you are one of the many home owners in the Portland Metro area who have never visited your crawl space, this is the appropriate time of year for you to take a look. Just opening the hatch and shining a flashlight might be all you need to do to determine if there is a problem. Standing water in your crawl space will likely be immediately obvious.
If you are one of the unlucky ones who has pools of standing water in your crawl space, now is the time to do something about it. Here are the things that you can do to address this problem:
Have the water sucked out
Some restoration companies will recommend sucking the water out using huge truck mounted vacuums, but this is not what we recommend. Yes, it will get rid of the water for now, but it will not address the more important questions of how did it get there and will it come back?
Trench the water down to a low point drain
Many homes have what is called a “low point drain”. This is a pipe that is installed in the lowest point of the crawl space that allows water to drain out of the crawl space. If you have standing water, this tells you that either you do not have a low point drain or the low point drain is not working. Sometimes these can be clogged, sometimes they can be placed in the wrong spot and sometimes they are not there at all. If you do have a low point drain and it is in the appropriate location, we can try and make it work. This is a great solution to most drainage issues because does not require anything mechanical, we would just be using gravity to solve your standing water problem.
If you do not have a low point drain and it is not feasible to install one, we will generally suggest a sump pump installation. A sump pump is installed inside a 2 foot basin at the lowest point of the crawl space and will pump water out of the crawl space and into the underground gutter drains. For many of our customers, this is the best way to ensure that water is constantly being pumped out.
Of course, every home is different and provides its own unique challenges. If you are concerned about standing water in the Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington area, please feel free to give us a call and we would be happy to set up a free inspection and consultation with one of our drainage specialists.