Mr. Jones has water in his crawlspace what should he do?

Water in the crawl space creates humidity under the house and there is nowhere for it to go so it will sit there.  What we want to do is to catch the water that intrudes into the crawlspace and route it with a drain the lowest point of the crawlspace, then install a sump pump and pump that water out and away from the foundation.

How big is the drain and how long does this take?

The internal french drain depends on how big, let’s say about a solid day of work.  We use a 4” perforated pipe because it can route enough volume of water that any crawlspace can get.   We cover it with gravel so water is filtered.  The water enters the pipe and it runs down to the sump pump.

The sump pump is in a basin, so we will dig out a hole where we put the basin into the hole and we put gravel around the basin to filter the water.  We put the pump inside and when the basin fills up the sump pump kicks on and pumps water out away from the house.   

Why install a sump pump?

It’s a ⅓ hp sump pump and can pump 3,800 gallons/hour.  You need the sump pump because drains alone won’t stop the water from settling and holding under your hours.  Water is bad in crawl because it creates humidity, which will continue to increase and produce fungi, mold, mildew, allergies and other respiratory health concerns as the wood becomes wet.  The wet crawl attracts termites and other wood-eating pests.  Wood rot can also occur affecting the integrity of the floor joists, beams, and subflooring.  Left unattended it can be very expensive and involve a lot more invasive repair work.   

My father has the same issue but he has a basement.

When water is getting into a basement it is not good due to moisture, there is nowhere for the water to go and it can create mildew, mold, fungi, and damages inside the home, furniture, etc.  

How does a basement take on water?

What happens is that water comes down a slope from a hill and hits the foundation.  Over time the water will build pressure against the foundation and seep down to the footing where it creates intrusion.  Gravity simply allows the water to reach the lowest point and make its way into the home.

How do you handle basement water?

We dig off the soil down to the footing of the foundation and we waterproof the outside wall with a product called Thoro-seal.  It’s mixed with an acrylic mixture and seals all the pores of any masonry/concrete product.  We go all the way down to the footing which is the most important part because water finds its way to the basement through the footing.  If you just waterproof the wall above the footer water will still creep in at the base.

Then we will install an external french drain on the outside next to the footer and we over it with perforated piping and gravel. We route down the side of the house until we find a slope that will take the water away from the home.  

How long does this take and what’s involved?

When we are digging we will have a crew from 2-5 men, one will be using a track hoe to dig out the drain, a couple of guys for the waterproofing which dries within a few hours.  As we are doing the other work the wall dries. Depending on how deep, or long an external french drain will take up to a ½ days work and up to a week for more complicated situations.  

When we leave you will have a fully graded, slopped application of topsoil.  It’s a good time to do landscaping once we are finished.  It’s not required by South Carolina law for builders to do this but if you in a new build it is definitely recommended.  It should last the life of the home if it is applied correctly.  

Additionally, If the customer wants us to we will tie in their downspouts and gutter drainage into the french drain system and route it away from the house to keep as many water sources away from the foundation as possible.  

Apex Termite & Pest Control has been providing Upstate residents with water barrier solutions for their crawlspaces and basements for years.  We work with our customers to prevent water intrusion and stop termites, wood damage and other pests from making a home in their home.

Austin Hamilton, Manager 

Apex Termite & Pest Control

Greer, SC 29651

(864) 877-2702  

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