Why Is Water In My Crawlspace or Basement?

Why Is Water In My Crawlspace or Basement SacramentoConsider this; a single gallon of water weighs 8.33 pounds.  An inch of spring rainfall collects on your roof, and without gutters, this water is deposited along your foundation.  Depending on the size of your roof this may equal nearly a ton of water for every inch of rain.  This water weight is called hydrostatic pressure and it is seeking a low pressure zone, such as your…crawlspace or basement.

If your yard is properly graded, the water flows away from your home.  A proper grade is considered to be a slope of six inches down for the first ten feet away from the foundation.  When the soil grade is pitched towards the house, the water flows toward the home and will find its way into your crawlspace or basement via poorly sealed basement windows, cracks, voids, cold joints, or up through earthen floors and so on.

Additionally, the yard sprinklers may contribute to the problem as well.  Irrigation sprinklers which run for long periods, or too close to the home can contribute to an alarming amount of moisture in the crawlspace.  This can lead to a host of issues if left to continue long enough.

What to do?

You have to start on the outside.  You cannot defeat hydrostatic pressure from the interior walls of your foundation.  No sealers, concrete paint, caulk, hydraulic-cement or expanding foam will hold up against the exterior pressure of a ton or tons of water outside your foundation.

Proper grading; ensure your yard is graded to promote drainage away from your home.

Install a proper system of gutters and downspouts which drain into a drainage system or discharge the water at least six feet away from the foundation.  By collecting and removing the water away from the foundation you remove the major contributor of the water seeping into the basement.

Install perimeter drainage; an in-ground system of trenches lined with a plastic liner, gravel and PVC drain pipe will also collect and remove excessive water.  Consult a qualified landscaper or grading contractor for solutions.

With regards to the sprinkler system, adjust the settings on the auto-timer to reduce the amount of time the sprinklers are running.  If you can, relocate any sprinkler heads away from the home.

Any questions? Please call us.

North American Home Services has been providing home inspection services to the greater Sacramento region for over 10 years.  We have completed thousands of inspections on residential and commercial buildings in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Solano counties.  Our home inspectors are highly regarded and qualified.  Each is certified through the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors and remains current on all aspects related to providing the best home inspection services.

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