Many homeowners find themselves having to deal with a flooded crawl space now and then, especially if they live in an area with a lot of rainfall or their crawl space isn’t properly built.
A flooded crawl space is a serious and potentially harmful problem and one a homeowner needs to take seriously. Over time, a flooded crawl space can lead to the compromised structural integrity of the entire house.
The first thing to do when you notice that your crawl space has been flooded is to clean it up. How you will do this depends on the seriousness of the situation. If you’re only dealing with a few puddles here and there, it’s best to use a wet vacuum to suck them up.
For more serious flooding issues, you’ll need to place a pump in the crawl space and use it to remove excess water. It is best if the water is moved far away from the home, where it can’t damage anything. While doing so, remove all the wet materials from the crawl space as well.
Drying up the Crawl Space
Once there’s no more water in the crawl space, you should start drying it out. This process needs to be done thoroughly, so that wood framing, subflooring, and other parts of the crawl space are all dried out, as much as possible. The best option is to use a dehumidifier for this purpose. However, standard, store-bought dehumidifiers won’t get the job done. Instead, call your local Tar Heel Basement Systems expert and ask about professional-grade dehumidifiers.
Mold and moldy materials need to be removed from the crawl space as well. Mold can be rather harmful and cause a variety of respiratory problems. It’s also useful to check how the water has affected the wiring and replace it as well if needed.
What Causes Flooding Issues?
Determining the source of the flood is one step towards the solution of the problem. If you know what is causing it, you might be able to prevent this problem from occurring again. Here are several common causes of floods.
Inadequate drainage: If your crawl space ends up under water every time it rains, you need to check your drainage. Your gutters and downspouts may be clogged or cracked. Also, check your yard’s grade. If runoffs flow toward your home instead of away from it, your yard has a negative grade. In other words, your home was built on the lowest part of the property.
Faulty sump pump: Do you have a sump pump in your crawl space? If even with this appliance, your foundation gets frequently flooded, it is not working properly. It may be time to replace it.
Leaky pipes: Older plumbing pipes are made of cast iron, so they can deteriorate over time. If you live in an older house, check your plumbing because there is a chance your pipes have started to leak.
Sewage backup: When sewage lines get clogged, water backs up and floods your crawl space. This is why you should never throw items such as cooking oil, diapers, or feminine hygiene products into your toilet.
Long-Term Flooding Solutions for Your Crawl Space
If you live in an area such as Winston-Salem, NC, floods may be a regular occurrence. If that’s the case, it isn’t enough to dry the crawl space when it’s flooded. Instead, you’ll need to make sure that there’s a long-term solution that will prevent the problem from happening again.
Install a Sump Pump
If you’ve had flooding issues, installing a sump pump is a wise move. This device is placed into a sump pit which collects water that accumulates below your home. When there is enough water in the pit, the pump activates and pumps it out. The water is sent into a discharge pipe and dumped away from your home. Since a sump pump will easily pump out large amounts of water, you won’t have to worry about standing water in your crawl space.
A sump pump alone isn’t going to keep your crawl space dry. With encapsulation, you can prevent water from entering your crawl space and causing damage in the first place. Contact a professional who will cover your walls and floor with a vapor barrier and install vent covers. Another great thing about encapsulation is that it will keep the pests out, which is always a plus.
Sometimes water can get trapped below the vapor barrier and can’t move. With drainage matting, you can prolong the lifespan of your liner and let water pass underneath it. It features raised dimples that slightly elevate the liner from the floor and create just enough space for the water to pass.
Although a dehumidifier cannot dry out a flooded crawl space, it is an appliance that will regulate moisture levels in normal conditions. It is also useful for drying out your crawl space after you have removed all the water. Since a dehumidifier will keep the humidity levels low, it will automatically remove allergy triggers such as mold and dust mites.
If you wish to install waterproofing solutions that will keep your foundation dry in the future, contact experts at Tar Heel Basement Systems and schedule a free inspection.