Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Help, our crawl space is flooded and there is no flood!

This is the worst of the worst situations in a crawl space. This is like having a 3” rain and the water in your crawl space is 3” from the bottom of the floor joist. I am referring to the crawl space that floods 6” deep when it just sprinkles outside. Yes, they do exist. It is very sad. In most cases, they are in an agricultural area.
During the flood In June of 2008 in south central Indiana, there were several basements and crawlspaces that severely flooded. Floods unfortunately occur and there isn’t any method or waterproofing system that can prevent a flooded basement or crawlspace during a FLOOD. Its common sense, although, you would be surprised how many people expected our sump pumps to keep their crawlspace dry when they had 2 feet of water in their house and had to be evacuated by boat. In their defense, most of these homeowners did not have flood insurance and were losing their minds due to the financial stress of the situation.
This post is not in reference to flooded crawlspaces due to actual floods, but to crawl spaces that flood due to heavy downpours or just your average 1”-3” rain. From my experience, I see 2 to 5 homes like this every year. They almost always are surrounded by farm fields. In many cases they are around 3 to 6 inches lower than the ground level in the fields. If you asked the average homeowner if they thought the plot of ground the house was built on held water, they would undoubtedly say “duh”. These homes are typically built in rural areas with no code requirements and construction standards.

Just to glance at this picture, you see an average sub-surface crawlspace entrance and well; but if you look closer, you will see that water is only 8” from the siding. This is a 1500 square foot crawlspace that is 32” tall (4 blocks above the footer). This picture is taken after the water had descended a couple of inches. The homeowner told me that the water was only 2 inches from the floor joists at one point. If you do the math, you end up with 28,050 gallons of water when the crawlspace had 2 ½ feet of water in it. At the time of this picture, the homeowner had 4 pumps that he had installed in his crawlspace. They were cheap generic plastic pumps that probably would have a hard time pumping the water off a swimming pool liner let alone an actual flooded crawlspace.
There are no cheap fixes for these situations with cheap pumps. If you have a similar situation as this one, you will want to look at our TripleSump Sump Pump System. Visit our website at http://www.americanbasementsolutions.com/sumppumps.html for more information on our line of industrial strength submersible sump pumps. If you think your crawl will always flood, think again! Give us a call @ 1-877-409-2837.
Thanks once again for reading the rambling thoughts of a crawlspace inspector.
Larry Ralph Jr.

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