How to Remove Water From a Crawl Space
These are the steps involved in crawl space water removal. You will need certain tools and equipment in the process. If you are not confident about removing the water yourself, you can call a professional to drain it. The professionals are also more aware of the sanitization process and will do a better job.
Isolate the Leak
The first step is to prevent more water from entering the crawl space by isolating the leak. Turn off all the water pipes and find which is flooding water under the house. Once you find out the exact pipe, you should repair it so that no water pools again if you turn on the system.
Once you stop water from penetrating inside, assess the damages. This is important to claim any insurance offered for damaged property. Contact a quality contractor and insurance personnel for this assessment. They will provide you with a detailed report on the damage and cost of repairs. The homeowner’s insurance does not cover damages caused due to flooding. It pays only for the damage caused as a result of faulty plumbing or leaking roofs.
If you need to get flood damage coverage, you should be insured against floods and other natural disasters. If you are already insured against those disasters, make sure that the repair cost estimation of the contractor matches that of the insurance adjuster. If the two reports do not match, get them to consult each other and agree on the common ground before you proceed.
Drain With a Sump Pump
Get a portable sump pump and place it at the base of the crawl space. Then run the drain hose into the yard before you turn on the sump pump. This will remove the standing water in your crawl space. It will take about an hour or so, depending on the size of the area and the amount of water. Make sure that you drain the water to a suitable region in the yard, or it might cause a damp spot in your garden. To remove all the water from the space, place the sump pump at the lowest part of the crawl space. Run the sump pump until everything is cleared.
Remove Damaged Items
After removing water from the crawl space, you should check the condition of the area. If there are any carpets or insulation damaged by the water, remove them carefully. This will also help in the proper drying of the building.
Remove the Moisture
Although the sump pump removes almost all the water, there will be more wetness and moisture in the space. You can use a dehumidifier to remove the remaining water to prevent mold formation. Use a vapor barrier and install a crawl space dehumidifier to prevent issues related to water damage. If not, you can call an expert who will use wood floor drying systems, high-quality blowers, sub-floor drying equipment, air movers, and extractors to remove the water.
Cleaning and sanitization is the next step after removing the dampness of the area. For your information, water damages are categorized into three main types. Depending on the type of water damage, you will have to determine the cleaning equipment and sanitization supplies needed for the cleaning.
- White Water Damage: This is non-extensive damage from minor situations such as an overflowing tub or sink. It can be sanitized easily since there aren’t many bacteria or microorganisms.
- Black Water Damage: This occurs with the overflowing of drainage or sewer systems. These are major health hazards and cannot be cleaned easily.
- Grey Water Damage: This too is similar to the previous water damage. Even after drying, there will be bacteria, chemicals, and toxic compounds left behind.
There is a high chance of mold formation since all the water will not be removed properly. Mold formation imposes heavy threats related to serious health issues. Mold also deteriorates the premises, reducing their resale value. Therefore, you should take the necessary steps to prevent mold infestation in your house.
Restoration and Remodeling
After the crawl space is affected by the flooding, you should renovate the damaged area. The condition may vary, starting from a mere hole in the drywall to having to replace the whole subfloor. Restoration and remodeling are important to ensure the safety of your family.
How to Prevent Water Damage in the Crawl Space
Although you cannot stop natural disasters, you can reduce the impact by following precautions to safeguard your property. Here are some ways in which you can minimize the effect of water damage on your crawl space.
Install a Sump Pump
Install a sump pump so that you can quickly remove any water that accumulates inside the crawl space. You can easily remove the water by turning on the sump pump and preventing your basement from flooding, especially during adverse weather.
Be Aware of Plants
This is something that most people are not aware of. Some plants have invasive roots that can grow into your drainage pipes and water systems. The roots might cause blockages and even burst open the pipes and sewage lines. It can also damage your foundation, and water will seep in through the spaces. So it is important to know where you grow plants, especially trees such as weeping willows.
Clean Roof Gutters
If your roof gutters are clogged, it will direct the rainwater into your foundation or the basement. Thus, you will have water flooding and damaging your house. So, install proper gutter downspouts and keep them clean to allow proper water flow.
Install a French Drain
Installing a French drain is a long-term solution to this problem. A French drain is a ditch in the ground with a perforated pipe running under a layer of gravel. This transmits water from the crawl space along the basement to the desired place. You can allow this water to collect into a rain barrel or simply direct it to the municipal storm drain. You can also install a perimeter drain, perforated pipe, and a drainage pipe as necessary to remove the water.
Install a Crawl Space Vent
Finally, you can install a crawl space bent to increase the airflow inside the crawl space. This ensures that any moisture remaining after the removal of the water from the above methods will be evaporated. You will have to worry less about mold destroying your premises.
Slope Your Sidewalks
Since water does not soak through sidewalks, you can use them to direct water to a certain location away from the basement. Make sure that the sidewalk is slightly angled away from your home. If there is no slope, you can simply attach a downspout extension to direct water to the yard.
How Much Does It Cost to Dry Out a Crawl Space?
The average cost of crawl space cleaning and repair is around $1,500 – $15,000. To remove mold in a crawl space it may take from $500 to $4,000. Wet crawl space repair costs range from $1,500 to $5,000. Here are some of the costs to clean and repair a crawl space.
- Basic Cleaning $500 – $2,000
- Mold Removal $500 – $6,000
- Water Damage $1,500 – $5,000
- Pest & Rodent Control $200 – $4,000
- Vent Repair or Sealing $150 – $450
- Foundation Repair $2,000 – $8,000
- Replace Support Beam $1,500 – $4,000
- Replace Insulation $500 – $3,700
- Replace Vapor Barrier $1,200 – $4,000
- Waterproofing $2,000 – $6,000
- Full Encapsulation $1,500 – $15,000
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take for Crawl Space to Dry?
A wet crawl space will usually take somewhere around 8 to 10 hours to dry. If there is a warm airflow across the area, it will evaporate quickly. Place a low heat source such as a light bulb inside the crawl space and have a fan blow air across the damp surface. It will speed up the drying process and reduce the time taken to dry the moisture completely.
What Happens if Water Gets in Your Crawl Space?
Most crawl spaces have a lot of moisture and will cause mold to grow on wood and organic material. Since it attracts a lot of insects and pests, there would also be a lot of dead insects in a crawl space. But if a lot of water penetrates into the space, it will flood and damage the premises. You might also have to assess the cost of damage to claim any insurance.
Is Encapsulating a Crawl Space a Good Idea?
Moisture in a crawl space leads to structural damage over time, including rotting of wooden floors and frames. Encapsulating the crawl space keeps away moisture and also keeps out dangerous pests such as termites.
Purchase a sump pump to get out the water from the crawl space and reduce the damage caused by flooding. Make sure that your sump pump sends the water at least 20 feet away from the foundation of your house. Moreover, you can get a crawl space water removal professional to remove the water.