Water in Crawlspace: How to Drain
LESLIE: Steve, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
STEVE: I’m having a water problem in my crawlspace.
STEVE: I live in the middle of town and during the rainy season I’ve got standing water in my crawlspace. I’ve been looking up on what to do about it and I’m wondering which would be best: a French drain system around the perimeter or just a basic sump pump?
TOM: Two things. First of all, you’ve got to get that water out of that crawlspace; so for that, you simply want to put a pump down there. Kind of hard to dig a sump pump when you’ve got water there but you’re going to need to get a pump down there one way or the other, Steve, and pump that water out. Open up some vents in the sides so that you get some airflow in there; maybe hook up some fans so you can dry that space out.
Protecting this in the long run, though, is going to require some improvements to the drainage conditions around the outside of the house. You need to have the gutters extended so that they get away from those crawlspace walls; then have the soil slope away from the walls. Whenever you get rain that causes the crawlspace to flood, in that situation it’s a drainage problem; it’s not a rising water table. So, improving the drainage conditions will solve it, you know, for the next time.
STEVE: Very good. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome, Steve. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.