After a Heavy Rain Is Water in Crawl Space Normal?

Written by Blake Heron on . Posted in .

Your Hampton Roads home needs plenty of work to ensure it stays in pristine condition year round. Besides the regular maintenance tasks, you may perform repairs during storms or when materials age and decay. You do not want to add more repair chores to the list. However, you have started to notice the presence of water in the crawl space. Is water in the crawl space after heavy rain normal? Could it be a sign of something serious, or is it just natural groundwater coming up to the surface? How would a person repair this?

You do not want to repair something that is not a problem. Yet, water in your home’s crawl space should not be ignored. It may lead to bigger issues that could create costly repair work. At BAY Crawl Space & Foundation Repair, we perform inspections to your crawl space and foundation to ensure it is safe and sturdy. We also determine the reason for excess water in your crawl space and provide efficient solutions and reliable service for your home.

What Causes Water to Get into a Crawl Space After Heavy Rain?

A crawl space is a protected area under your home. It is designed to stay dry throughout the year during all types of weather. Having some water in the crawl space can be normal so long as it drains away. However, standing water can become a concerning issue. If there is water present, it is extremely important to figure out the source. Rainwater constantly entering the crawl space should not be a normal occurrence. There are several reasons why you may find water in the crawl space.

Leaking Pipe

While most pipes leading to the kitchen or bathroom are located in the house walls, the main water line and the wastewater lines run along the floor joists in the crawl space. You may also have an outdoor spigot used to wash the car or water the lawn. The pipe may leak due to old age, corrosion, or even stress placed on the pipes from the house settling.

Cracking Foundation

Homes settle over time as this settling causes the foundation to crack. The cracks may allow water from the ground and soil to enter into the crawlspace. If left unchecked, the cracks may become larger to allow more water to enter.

Improper Grading

When a home is built, contractors grade the ground so that rainwater from the roof and gutters moves away from the foundation. However, changing this grading or performing some landscaping tasks may cause the water to redirect toward the foundation. If the foundation has cracks or vents, the water may enter the crawl space.

What Damage Does Having Water in the Crawl Space Cause?

You may wonder what that water can do in the crawl space. It will eventually dry away. However, stagnant water can take a long time to evaporate or become absorbed by the soil. While the water is present, it can start to produce rancid smells that could eventually seep inside the home. The water may also attract rodents and termites who are looking for a food source, as the pests may try to make their way into the floorboards and walls of the house.

Mold and mildew are other serious issues that come from stagnant water. As the water becomes vapor, it starts to cling to the wood joists and other surfaces in the crawl space. The wood may start to rot. Also, mold spores thrive in moist and warm environments. Once the mold growth gets into the wood, it can start to travel along the joists and the floorboards to get into the walls of the house, negatively impacting air quality.

Lastly, water damage affects foundations. Water can seep into the smallest cracks and make them larger by deteriorating the materials. In time, the water can cause structural instability.

What Should You Do When You Find Water in Your Crawl Space?

Before entering the crawl space, get prepared with a headlight, gloves, long pants, and a long sleeve shirt that you don’t mind getting dirty. Carefully enter the crawl space and document the damage. Take photos of the water, floor joists, foundation, and any items that are stored in the crawl space.

Then get in touch with our contractors. Our team can perform an inspection of your crawl space, floors, and the water to help you determine the cause of the flooding and damages. Then we provide repair services to prevent it from happening again in the future.

What Are Ways to Fix My Crawl Space from Flooding in the Future?

How you fix the crawl space to prevent future flooding will depend on what is causing the excess water to enter the space. Here are some common solutions you may try to address the issue.

Fix Piping

Leaking water pipes will only become worse with time. They also increase your energy bills. Have a plumber fix and replace old pipes as well as seals to prevent water leaks.

Install a Sump Pump

Also called a French drain, a sump pump consists of a hole, a drainpipe, and a pump. When the crawl space floods, water fills the hole and activates the pump. The pump pushes the water up through the drainpipe and outside the home.

Unclog Any Drainage

The gutter drainage system may have a clog that is causing water to overflow the sides and enter the crawl space. You may also need to readjust downspouts so the pipes redirect the water from the house.

Install Downspout Extensions

The gutters that discharge water next to the house can be rerouted away from the house with gutter downspout extensions. Getting the water 6 to 10 feet from the foundation can help keep the crawl space dry.

Repair Foundation

Repairing foundation cracks can stop water from entering the crawl space. There are different methods to fixing foundation walls based on the size of the crack and the existing structural damage.

Why Have BAY Crawl Space & Foundation Repair Assist with Standing Water?

After fixing the source of the standing water, you may need to drain the water in the crawl space. If you decide to try this as your next DIY project, it can become a daunting process. Many crawl spaces have some openings that do not allow much movement inside. You also need to rent or buy the appropriate equipment for proper drainage. Furthermore, you may find it difficult to use the equipment in such a restricted space.

You may find the wet crawl space is contaminated by animal droppings, debris, or waste if the water comes from a broken wastewater pipe. Then, you will also have to deal with mold. These water problems can cause serious health issues. Our contractors have the equipment necessary to clear out the water and keep your crawl space dry

Do Not Let a Storm Ruin Your Home. See How We Can Help.

Homes in both Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina typically experience high levels of flooding and hurricanes during the warmer months. Thus, homeowners should remain vigilant regarding the potential of water entering crawl spaces and seek out crawl space waterproofing services. However, if you already have water in your crawl space, have it properly drained first before conducting waterproofing.

Getting your home inspected by BAY Crawl Space & Foundation Repair can help you prevent further damage. We also provide remediation solutions along with vapor barriers and crawl space encapsulation. Reach out to our crawl space experts today at  757-460-0444 or complete the online contact form. We will contact you to discuss your crawl space project as soon as possible.

Blake Heron

Written By Blake Heron

Blake has specialized in crawl space & foundation repairs for over 10 years (since 2012). His prior engineering and business degrees from James Madison University in VA prepared him for a mastery of problem solving with crawl space & foundation repair issues. He is one of America’s top experts on crawl space encapsulation. As Founder of both ‘BAY Crawl Space & Foundation Repair’ as well as ‘GridLock Foundations’ he is a leading industry expert on crawl space foundation repairs.


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