Crawl spaces offer great convenience to homeowners where they can store household essentials without requiring a basement. However, despite all the convenience, they can become an annoying problem when the water starts coming in. Not only that, if you’re selling the house with a wet crawl, the future buyer cannot get a loan for it.
Statistically, 15% of all homes in the United States have water in crawl space. A wet crawl space can cause structural and cosmetic water damage to your house. So, if you’ve noticed a wet crawl space recently, it’s imperative to take quick action. Otherwise, it can lead to further damages. Unfortunately, the majority of homeowners are aware of how to fix the wet crawl space problem. But don’t worry, we’ll help you to find some ways to fix the water in the crawl space problem through this guide. Here are some tools and materials you’ll need for this project.
- Measuring tape
- Twine and wood stakes
- Submersible pump Or Sump Pump
- Drainage rock
- Plastic sheet
- Flexible drain pipe
- Plastic vapor barrier
- GFCI outlet
1. Locate the problem
The first step is to find the source of the water. Next, you need to locate the area that is allowing the water to enter your home. For that, you’ll have to access the opening to your crawl space with a flashlight and start inspecting every area. Most of the time, the primary causes of wet crawl spaces are the cracks, and leak pipes are the toiled area. Look for the water signs or any discoloration, and you’ll eventually find the source.
2. Submersible Pump
If you don’t have a submersible pump at home, you can easily rent it out. It’s a helpful tool to pump a small amount of standing water. In case if there is a large amount of standing water, you’ll have to do the additional steps that include;
Additional Steps For a Permanent Solution or Flooding Water
- Remove the Vapor Barrier:
If there is already a vapor barrier placed, remove it through the access door.
- Dig the Trench:
After rolling up the vapor barrier, dig an 8 to 20-inch trench from the outside of the crawlspace.
- Fill the drain rocks:
Now start filling the trench with drain rocks. Finally, the whole pipe should be covered with gravel.
- Install a Sump Pump:
Now, you need to install a sump pump at the lower end of the trench. The best thing about this pump is it automatically gets activated whenever the water enters the trench. Therefore, it will provide you a long-term and permanent solution for the water in the crawl space problem.
- Install GFCI Plug:
In order to provide power to the sump pump, you’ll need a CGCI plug. You can install it yourself or ask an electrician to install a ground-fault-protected GFCI plug in the crawl space.
- Place a Discharge Pipe:
Connect a discharge pipe with a sump pump and route it to where water can be discharged.
- Install a new vapor barrier:
After installing the discharge pipe successfully, now place a new vapor barrier over the crawl space ground. It will stop the vapor transfer from the ground. Make sure to cover the entire space of topsoil and keep it very tight.
- Install a ventilation system:
If there is insufficient space for the cross ventilation, you need to install a ventilation fan in the exterior wall of the crawl space to provide cross ventilation to the crawl space.
These steps were for removing a large amount of water or permanently solving the wet crawl space problem. If you’ve just a tiny amount of water in the crawl space, you can continue with step three.
3. Use a Vacuum to remove the water
Grab a wet/dry vacuum and start removing the water. Suck as much water as possible in the one go. The existing vapor barrier under the crawl space’s ground will help you remove all the dirt with the water as well.
4. Remove Humidity
Removing water is not enough. Excess humidity can also recreate the wet crawl space problem, and you’ll have to repeat the whole process all over again. So, make sure to use a dehumidifier to remove all the humidity present under the crawl space.
5. Remove all the contaminated items
If anything else is placed in the crawl space that has caught, the water should be removed because it can initiate the wet-crawl space problem again.
6. Get rid of Containimated Soil or Sewage Spills
If there was no vapor barrier installed earlier, the top few inches of the soil must have been contaminated, creating fungus or severe health problems for the occupants. To avoid that, dig up few inches of the contaminated soil area and get rid of it. Make sure to wear all the safety gear like gloves, an eye mask, and a face mask to save yourself from any biological hazards.
7. Put things back together
After decontaminating the soil, install a new vapor barrier tightly, and finally, you can start putting everything back together.