If you have water or dampness and high humidity levels in your crawlspace or basement the summer months are the perfect time to address it. Water intrusion and increased humidity levels can increase your chances for wood eating insects and termites.
A French Drain can help move water away from the foundation of your home and create a barrier to wood infestation pests and termites. These pests seek out soft, wet or rotted wood like a smorgasbooard. Your damp or humid crawl space is like an open invitation to these wood infesting pests.
French drains seek to move water away from your home and seal up any and all entities of moisture. Damp, humid crawl spaces and basements are an open invitation to wood destroying pests such as termites, carpenter ants and other wood, or cellulose seeking insects. They seek out areas of moisture for water and food sources.
Reputable termite and pest control companies can help you create a vapor barrier in addition to French Drainage systems that move water away from your foundation so your home is no longer attractive to these wood devouring pests.
Moisture is a high attractant to termites and carpenter ants because they thrive on humidity, moisture and cool temperatures underneath a home. By reducing moisture inclusion you can eliminate these costly invasive pests.
Reputable companies will reduce moisture by installing a French Drain system to carry water away from your home foundation. In addition they can install a vapor barrier of plastic, seal cracks and intrusion entries throughout your home foundation. They will provide a barrier of protection through treatment that will essentially kill any colonies of termites, carpenter ants and other invasive wood destroying species. By installing a vapor barrier of thick plastic they insure water/humidity levels are under control and the attraction to these pests is reduced.
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. A 4” perforated pipe is suggested because it can route enough volume of water that any crawl space can get. The pipe is covered 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.
Water damage and moisture can lead to mold, mildew and unhealthy air circulating throughout your home that can contribute to a variety of health, allergy and breathing issues. Over time, left unattended these can become serious health issues for children and adults.
What About Basements that 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 deal with basement water?
We dig 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 cover 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 of 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 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