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Water Under the House: Why It’s a Problem and What to Do About It

flooded crawl space

You rely on your home to keep you safe and dry. But what happens when there’s water under the house? Numerous homeowners throughout North Carolina cities, including Wilmington, Raleigh, Durham, and Winston-Salem, experience the effects of water under their homes. When faced with this issue, determining how to address it may be a challenge. 

Neighbors or online resources might suggest delaying repairs, but when you notice water in your home’s crawl space, it is crucial to take immediate action. This page outlines practical ways to address water under your house with crawl space repairs,  that restore your home’s safety and health. 

Is it Normal to Have Water Under the House?

flooded crawl space with wet insulation

Standing water in a crawl space is abnormal and risks your home’s foundation, air quality, and overall health. While moisture control issues may arise in crawl spaces with open or broken vents, addressing their source promptly through professional repair is crucial to prevent costly damage and mold growth. Living in a home with water under the house is an unhealthy and unsafe concern. 

Signs of Water Under the House 

Stagnant water under the house exhibits signs such as: 

  • Musty odors that persist 
  • Pests in the crawl space 
  • Increased allergies or asthma symptoms 
  • Uneven or bouncy floors 
  • Sagging floors 
  • Cold sensation in hardwood floors 
  • High energy bills 
  • Clogged gutters 
  • Water pooling around the foundation during heavy North Carolina rainfall 

How to Address Water Under the House 

wet crawl space

Entering your crawl space alone is not recommended due to potential safety and health hazards. We advise you contact a professional to assess the crawl space vents and doors, gutters, and surrounding areas to identify the source of water entry. Experts can detect signs of mold, mildew, musty smells, structural damage, and potential issues with standing water under the house. 

Common causes of standing water under the house include: 

Clogged Drains and Damaged Gutters and Downspouts 

Maintaining the functionality of your home’s gutters is vital, especially in regions like the eastern seaboard, where rainfall is frequent throughout the year. When gutters accumulate leaves, mud, or debris, it obstructs the downspouts and hinders proper water drainage during heavy rain. This obstruction may result in water finding alternative pathways, leading to gutter overflow. Without an effective drainage system, water accumulation around your home’s foundation can make the crawl space vulnerable to leaks and flooding. 

cracked brick wall

Open Crawl Space Vents   

Between the 1960s and the 1990s, it was widely believed that crawl spaces required vents for better air circulation. However, this belief was debunked with time, exposing crawl space vents as a significant culprit to crawl space moisture problems.  Consequently, any opening in a crawl space exposes the area to outdoor elements.  

If your home has unsealed or broken crawl space doors or vents, the likelihood of encountering issues like mold, pests, and water under the house is high. 

Negative Yard Grading  

Yard grading may significantly impact your foundation, whether positively or negatively. A positive yard grade implies the landscape around your home slopes away from the foundation, allowing natural drainage when it rains. While a negative grade means the landscape slopes toward your home, leading rainwater to collect around the foundation and saturate the soil. Negative yard grading and an unencapsulated crawl space will result in standing water under the house. 

Foundation Cracks  

Foundation cracks are an entry point for external elements, like water. These cracks, caused by various factors, are primarily associated with North Carolina’s expansive clay soil. As this soil type expands with rainwater saturation, it exerts pressure, leading to cracks or bowing in the structures beneath your home. When the soil dries out, it shrinks, promoting settlement. One effective solution to these issues is installing professional drainage and water management systems around your home. 

patio cracked and leaning away from home

Broken Sump Pump 

As a diligent homeowner, despite taking precautionary measures, you might still encounter standing water under your house, often due to faulty or broken equipment like a sump pump. This vulnerability becomes more apparent during severe weather events, such as heavy hurricanes or storms, which can disrupt power. Without a backup for your drainage system, it may fail when you need it the most.  

We at Tar Heel Basement Systems strongly recommend a sump pump battery backup to ensure your home’s protection even during the most extreme weather conditions.  

Contact Tar Heel Basement Systems for a Free Inspection Today! 

Tar Heel team posing in front of trucks

Each home and crawl space are unique, requiring a tailored solution. Tar Heel Basement Systems offers free inspections and crawl space encapsulation solutions tailored to your home’s needs. Our methods include 20-mil thick vapor barriers, crawl space vent covers, battery backup sump pumps, dehumidifiers, and more. 

If you observe signs of crawl space problems or water under your house, contact Tar Heel Basement Systems. We identify the issues and offer repairs that restore your home’s safety and longevity. 


If you discover water under your house, identify the source, address leaks, improve drainage, and consider professional assistance from Tar Heel Basement Systems for comprehensive waterproofing solutions. 

Address water seepage under the foundation by contacting a professional to pinpoint the source of the leak. Common solutions to this issue include fixing drainage problems, sealing cracks, and implementing comprehensive crawl space encapsulation measures.

Foundation water damage can manifest at varying rates, exhibiting both slow and rapid progression. Immediate issues like flooding can cause rapid damage, while prolonged exposure to moisture may lead to gradual deterioration over months or years. Early detection and mitigation are crucial to prevent long-term harm. Contact a professional for effective foundation repair solutions.


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Our Locations

Fayetteville Location

3400 Walsh Pky, Suite 220
Fayetteville, NC 28311

Greensboro Location

611 Summit Ave, Suite 5
Greensboro, NC 27405

North Raleigh

208 Millbrook Rd. Suite C
Raleigh, NC 27609

Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill Location

3333 Air Park Road
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

Wilmington Location

2155 Enterprise Dr. NE
Leland, NC 28451

Winston-salem / High Point Location

2910 Griffith Rd
Winston-Salem, NC 27103