LESLIE: Teddy in Oregon is dealing with a wet foundation and how to fix wet crawlspace. Tell us what’s going on.
TEDDY: Well, I am blessed with rain and clay soil here in Western Oregon. And I have a crawlspace that is wet. I lift up the plastic and there is mold and salamanders and slugs under there.
And so I did discover a crack in the foundation, which explains a lot of this moisture.
TOM: Well, yes and no. You know, concrete foundations and brick foundations are very porous. The fact that you have a crack doesn’t mean that that’s the only way water is getting through. What this does mean is that you have way too much water collecting on the outside of your house.
So what you need to do to fix wet crawlspace is to very carefully improve the drainage conditions at the foundation perimeter so that soil slopes away from the house. And even more important than that is to clean your gutter system and extend those downspouts away from the house. That’s really critical. If you do that, you will find that it makes a big difference on the amount of water that’s getting into that space and it will dry up quite nicely and frankly, quite quickly.
TEDDY: Oh, OK. I believe that the gutter system is all – has pipes out to the street.
TOM: Yep. You need to be sure about that and you need to be sure that they’re not disconnected or clogged to keep fix wet crawlspace.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Especially if you’ve got something underground that you can’t monitor or see if it’s, in fact, free-flowing. You’ve got to make sure that it’s actually going somewhere, it’s connected. Because the smallest amount of a clog can produce a huge amount of water, in comparison to the amount of a clog, inside your house.
TEDDY: Oh, OK. OK. So, I’ll work on that and grade the soil away from the house.
Now, right now, I have – I was all set to buy a dehumidifier and then someone told me, “No, that won’t do you any good.” So, I put a fan on either end – one blowing in and one blowing out – so it could go out the vents.
TOM: But look, the solution here is not to try to get rid of the moisture that’s there; it’s to stop it from going there in the first place. So you need to follow our advice on this, which is specifically to improve the drainage conditions at the foundation perimeter. There’s advice on how to do this, online, at MoneyPit.com. It’s one of the most common questions we get asked and the solution is really quite simple, OK?
TEDDY: OK. Yeah.
TOM: Good luck with that project.