Maybe the long, hot summer made you forget, but last year was the wettest winter we have ever had in the Portland and Vancouver area. Our homes took a beating with the constant rainfall and some homes just could not hold up. Water started to find its way into areas it was never supposed to be. As a drainage contractor serving the Portland metro area, my team got called out to numerous homes that had water seeping in around the foundation of the home and ended up pooling in the crawlspace, causing significant damages. So, as the wet weather prepares to hit, how can you make sure that your crawlspace stays dry?
Stop Surface Water From Coming In
Sometimes the solution to a flooded crawlspace is actually quite simple. If your landscape slopes towards your house, this is a problem. Water will follow gravity and end up pooling next to the house or just enter the crawlspace through the foundation vents. The surface water can also be soaked up in the ground and make its way into the crawlspace under the footing. If this is the only way that water is entering your crawlspace, it could be as simple as regrading the soil around the house to make sure that it slopes away from the home. If water is entering through the foundation vents, a foundation vent well can be installed to prevent water from entering.
Install A Sump Pump Under Your Home
Sometimes water in the crawlspace is a bit harder to address. In cases of ground water pooling under your home, you may need to install a trenching system and a sump pump. This is a system that causes ground water to flow towards a designated discharge point (sump pump). First a basin is installed that allows the water to fill to a certain point and then is pumped out of the space. Typically, the pump will discharge into the underground storm drains. Having a sump pump is fairly common in the Portland Metro area. This is especially true in areas with a lot of clay in their soil like Beaverton, Oregon and Battle Ground, Washington.
Check Your Vapor Barrier
A vapor barrier is the plastic that covers the soil in your crawlspace. Although it is designed to keep moisture out of your crawlspace, it also does a pretty good job of holding moisture in. Once water makes its way onto the vapor barrier, it tends to sit there for awhile. By making a point of checking your crawlspace, you can see if water has been entering recently and also look for water staining on the vapor barrier to see if past issues have ever existed.
Make Sure Your Gutters Are Not Overflowing
Your rain gutters are designed to get water off your house and discharge it away from the house. A clogged gutter or storm drain can create many problems, sometimes resulting in water being discharged into your crawlspace. An easy way to tell if you have a problem is to see if any of the gutters are overflowing, which would indicate a clog somewhere. You can also find where your storm drains discharge and see if water is flowing. Many homes have underground drywells that you cannot see, but most houses have a pipe that discharges into the street.
If you have concerns about any of these things, you are welcome to give us a call and we would be happy to perform a free inspection and evaluation. For more questions about our services, please feel free to give us a call.