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  1. #1
    chrisg's Avatar
    chrisg Guest

    Default Standing water in crawlspace

    First time buyer. Can someone please help? Thank you very much.

    Buying a 20-year-old house, and just got home inspection report: standing water all along the walls". Pictures attached. Is this a serious problem, and how much we need to spend to fix the problem?

    "Inspection of the raised foundation area has revealed standing water all along the north and east walls. Non-standard trenches have been dug within the soil to allow water to flow to a low point drain however, some of the trenches have collapsed which does not allow the water to flow to be eradicated. This is natural occurring ground moisture, as well as, moisture that is coming into the raised foundation area along the foundation footing."

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    Last edited by chrisg; 05-05-2012 at 08:54 AM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Standing water in crawlspace

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisg View Post
    First time buyer. Can someone please help? Thank you very much.

    Buying a 20-year-old house, and just got home inspection report: standing water all along the walls". Pictures attached. Is this a serious problem, and how much we need to spend to fix the problem? Or should we pass this house?

    "Inspection of the raised foundation area has revealed standing water all along the north and east walls. Non-standard trenches have been dug within the soil to allow water to flow to a low point drain however, some of the trenches have collapsed which does not allow the water to flow to be eradicated. This is natural occurring ground moisture, as well as, moisture that is coming into the raised foundation area along the foundation footing."
    Wow, thats a lot of water.
    Yes, it needs to be corrected ASAP
    You will need to consult with a qualified contractor to determine what should be done and the cost.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    WESTMINSTER CO
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    Default Re: Standing water in crawlspace

    RUN RUN RUN--PASS PASS PASS


  4. #4
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Standing water in crawlspace

    Very common problem down the road in the Portland area... I imagine Seattle is the same. It's totally fixable. Sometimes expensive, but fixable.

    The trenches were likely dug some time after original construction when someone found water. The mud on the plastic heat ducts is a tell talel sign that someone has been slopping around in the mud.

    The trenches alone are okay but really should have some drainage pipe and river rock. Also, the system should discharge somewhere (low point drain, sump pump, etc.)

    Of course, dealing with the water once it's in the crawl space reactive and the best solution would be to stop it from coming inside in the first place. Check exterior grading and roof water management.

    A lot of times everything is setup properly on the exterior and the water remains. In that case it's just a high water table and/or poor soil drainage characteristics so all you can do is the crawl space drain system.

    Again, this is a super common thing in my area. I wouldn't let it stop me from buying a house but I would definitely want it done right.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Standing water in crawlspace

    I much prefer crawling water in a stand space.

    That much water under the house leads to a lot of moisture evaporating up into the living space and attic. It may be common as Matt says, but it is not a good thing and it will take a lot of hard work to fix it. It should have been done better 20 years ago, but I guess in that area, it was not required.
    If you are not personally inclined to spend time under that house, pass on it.
    Stop the water around the perimeters. There should be perforated drain pipes and drain rock gravel all around the house at the level of the footings. That water needs to flow away somehow down a slope to a ditch or storm drain. Install separate solid drain pipes to carry the water from your downspouts away. Don't just dump the roof runoff into the footing drains.
    Then get under there and lay a tight vapor barrier.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 05-05-2012 at 12:59 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
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    395

    Default Re: Standing water in crawlspace

    Have a conversation with your inspector and find out who they would recommend to evaluate and recommend repairs. This is common in our area. You will also want to see if the subfloor insulation is saturated and if there is evidence of mold growing on the roof sheathing. This would be visible from the attic, primarily on the north side of the roof.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
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    2,478

    Default Re: Standing water in crawlspace

    How about yet another opinion?

    Common in my area. We have clay soils and water does not drain well through it. As a result, standing water under homes is pretty common. Depending on your situation, this can be addressed with a few different methods.

    First off, is there any damage related to the water? If the foundation crawlspace ventilation is inadequate, you can have wood destroying organism (WDO) problems that include fungus damage as well as beetles and termites. If your home inspector was not a pest inspector, then you should get a pest inspection to find out if there is any related damage. If there is no damage after 20 years, then that is good news.

    As has been said by Matt & John, drainage is best addressed from the exterior. This can usually be corrected with subsurface french/curtain drains and a drain system connected to the gutter downspouts. A less expensive alternative would be installation of a sump pump, but as with Matt's secondary suggestion of drains under the house, this is reactive and pumps will break-down. A properly designed and installed drainage system will work for many years with little maintenance.

    I also agree with Rick. Query your home inspector. I was a bit surprised that I did not see any recommendations with his/her findings (unless that part was omitted).

    Costs to install a drainage system will depend on how large a house, conditions around the exterior, and how much trenching is necessary. Around here, this type of work is handled by landscape contractors and general contractors. Make sure you use someone who is licensed and understands drainage systems, and get references.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

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