LESLIE: Steve in South Carolina needs help with a crawlspace. Tell us what’s going on.
STEVE: What I’m looking at is I have a crawlspace. It stays damp sometimes and when it rains it seems to get the water that comes underneath the footing of the foundation. It doesn’t come through the brick but it comes underneath the footing and then comes back up and then it makes a little stream that runs around and goes back out the bottom of the house. You know it eventually goes out but I was just wondering how you stop that from coming in.
TOM: Does it seem to get worse after a heavy rainfall?
STEVE: Well, a heavy rainfall it’ll puddle up a little bit at the crawlspace door …
TOM: Mm-hmm, right.
STEVE: … and then by the next day it’ll filter out.
TOM: Right. Well, in any case, the way to deal with this is starting outside that crawlspace area, Steve, by looking at the grading and the drainage at the foundation perimeter. Leslie, I’d start here at the roof, probably.
LESLIE: Yeah, you want to make sure that you’ve got gutters along your house and that the gutters are clean and your downspouts are free-flowing. And then you want to look at where the downspouts deposit the water. You want to make sure that it’s not depositing all that runoff at the foundation wall. You want it to sort of go three feet or so away from the house. You want to get that water away.
You want to look at the grading. You want to make sure that you slope down about four inches over six feet so that it just gradually slopes away so that the water moves away from it. You want to make sure, if you’ve got any stones or anything holding dirt and water in a flowerbed around the foundation, that you allow that to have more drainage.
If you work from the outside in it really does a great job of keeping the moisture out and especially since you see more water with a rainfall it really is consistent with water that’s happening outside.
STEVE: Alright, thanks a lot.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.