With all the rain that we get in the Portland area, is it normal to have water in your crawl space? Our homes are constantly bombarded by rainfall nearly year round, so is it alright if some of that rain accumulates under your house? The answer is a little subtle because it depends on if that accumulated water becomes “standing water” with no way out. Many crawl spaces have moisture, but standing water is a different story.
Some properties naturally slope to a low point drain and when water comes in, it eventually finds its way out. Other properties have drainage systems in place, like a sump pump, that moves the water off of the property. What it really comes down to is “what happens to the water once it gets down there”? In order for a crawl space to stay healthy, it is important that standing water is not creating a conducive condition for mold or worse, moisture may start to affect the structural integrity of the home. If you have a crawl space that collects water runoff, you simply must have a plan in place to divert it. Here are some things to consider:
Why is water accumulating under your home?
Consider the slope and grade of your property. Is it sloping towards a foundation vent? This was the case at my home when I moved in and I didn’t need to wait for it to rain to know that my crawl space was going to be filled with water. I designed and implemented a drainage system consisting of a french drain tapped into my underground gutter drains. If water is not coming from the outside, you may have an underground spring, meaning that you will always have a problem with water in your crawl space. Sometimes, it is not that complicated and the reason water is under your home is because a sprinkler head is pointed towards the house and is spraying through the foundation vent. Once you determine why you have water in your crawl space, it is time to come up with a plan.
This is the method that I chose at my house. Basically, you dig a trench to slope towards a drain point. In my case, this was my underground drains, but you can just run it to an underground basin or wherever else would get it away from the home. Once you have the trench dug, you install a 4″ perforated pipe, cover it with a geo-thermal sleeve for a filter and cover it with drain rock.
This option is a little more complicated, but very efficient. A sump pump basically collects the water in a basin that is installed at the lowest point of your crawl space and pumps it out of your crawl space. You may need to dig trenches that carry the water to the basin and it is recommended to have an electrician hard wire the pump. There is a little more involved in this, so if you need help, be sure to give us a call.
Drainage issues can be challenging and are a lot of work. If you need some to take over the job for you, please give us a call. If you just want some advice and guidance, we can help you with that too. Good luck!