Drying your Flooded Crawlspace
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 …TOM: Yep.ANN: Alright, I appreciate that.TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.