LESLIE: Ann in Missouri has a situation with a crawlspace. What’s going on?
ANN: Oh, well we built a house and – but it didn’t get the cover space on before we got a deluge with rain and it was about eight inches of water under there. I sump-pumped it out but there’s still some puddles around and we’re going to close it off and I’m just wondering if there are some ways to dry that out.
TOM: Yeah. What you’re going to need to do is to get a fan in there. And you’re going to want to take the fan and actually have it pull air out of the crawlspace; even though you don’t have any other vents – which, by the way, is a mistake. But even though you don’t have any other vents, you’re going to find that air will pull – if you depressurize that space, air will be replenished through all the nooks and the crannies in the construction. So it’ll pull air from upstairs, it’ll find a way to pull air from the outside and that will draw some air across that space and help to vent it.
But I would recommend a couple other things. You mentioned you had a sump pump in there. I would also make sure that I look at the grading and the drainage situation at the foundation perimeter. Make sure that your gutters are clean, they’re free-flowing, they’re extended well away from the foundation and that the soil slopes away from the foundation because those two things will help you prevent this from happening again in the future.
ANN: OK. So that’ll – the fan will clean out the puddles that are kind of remaining around.
TOM: Yeah, eventually. Yes, eventually that will do it. And after it gets dried out, I would also put a vapor barrier down across the crawlspace floor. If it’s possible to get in there, I’d lay down some large sheets of plastic.
ANN: It has plastic.
TOM: Oh, it does? OK.
ANN: It has plastic and gravel. Yeah, we just didn’t – and actually, this foundation is higher than the ground around it; which, with a 10/12 pitch, the water just came right off the roof and funneled down into the house where we had the crawlspace opening.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah, you’re going to have to do a better job at managing that roof water.
ANN: Well, yeah. We weren’t finished and …
ANN: Alright, I appreciate that.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.