How do you dry out under a house? Here is a guide on completely draining water from under house foundation.
One of the major reasons you will find water sitting under your house is heavy rains. This is possible when there are breaches in your foundation that allow rainwater or melted snow to flow through.
Water Under House Solutions
If you’re having this problem and have no idea what to do about it, then keep reading.
In this article, I’ll be showing you how to drain water from under the house.
How Did Water Get Under My House?
I have already pointed out heavy rains as one of the major causes of water resting under your house. But it goes deeper than that, as hydrostatic pressure is also another major cause.
For those who don’t know, hydrostatic pressure is the process by which large volumes of standing water try to push through the foundation walls and floors.
Over time, the structure will eventually give in to the pressure and cracks will begin to form. These cracks (no matter how small) will allow the water to pass through the foundation and rest under your house.
Water can get into your soil due to several reasons. It could be heavy rainfalls (which I have already mentioned, or it could be water from leaking pipes).
Another contributing factor is the way your yard is sloped. If it is tilted towards the direction of your foundation, then rainwater and melted snow will flow towards it.
Hence, depositing large volumes of water under your home.
Why You Should Drain Water From Under Your House
Now that you know why there is water sitting under your house, you need to do something about it, and you need to do it quickly.
This is because having water under your home is in no way advantageous. On the contrary, it can be very destructive.
Here are a few reasons you must drain water from under your house.
It can attract mold: One of the most common after-effects of having a flooded base is mold growth.
Mold spores are practically everywhere and they are constantly in search of the perfect landing spot. When I say perfect, I mean an environment that is wet and warm.
If your home offers these conditions, then it is perfect for mold growth.
I’m sure you already know that mold doesn’t look good, but aesthetic flaws aren’t the only problem. Mold can also affect a person’s health negatively.
They are toxigenic and allergenic, which means they can infect, as well as irritating. They are particularly dangerous to people with existing respiratory ailments.
The sooner under-your-house is drained, the better.
It can attract pest insects: Having water under your house can also attract insects such as termites, roaches, and spiders. The sad part is, these insects will eventually multiply and spread to other parts of your home.
It reduces the market value of your home: Homeowners who are planning to sell their property should keep them in prime condition, just so they can attract the best deals from prospective buyers.
Having water under your house does not favor you when you put the property up for sale, as buyers will be skeptical about buying such a home.
If the prospect even agrees to take the risk, they will not offer what the house should be worth.
If there is water under your home, make sure you drain it before you put it up for sale, as this will help you sell it at the best possible price.
It makes your house a hazard: Having pools of water under your house could attract mold and insects, but it can also do far worse. It can compromise the structural integrity of your house.
Every second that water spends under your house means the constant deterioration of the foundation. The wooden beams or joists will be soaked and will rot over time.
If this happens, the foundation may no longer be able to hold the weight of the house and it will eventually fold. This will cause a collapse, which will be tragic if people are inside the building when it happens.
How To Drain Water Away From Your House Foundation Effectively
Now that you understand how water got under your foundation, and the reasons you need to drain it away, let me show you how to do so.
Tip one: Install French drains
For those new to the term, a French drain is a trench that houses a perforated drain pipe and is covered in gravel.
You can wrap the French drain pipe in a filtering fabric if you wish, or simply line the entire trench with a filter fabric.
Most contractors will cover the French drain trench with grass, so people will not even know it’s there.
When it rains, the water will flow into the perforated pipe and be channeled towards the main sewer system. The holes in the pipe are large enough to allow water to flow in but small enough to keep debris from getting in.
You will need to hire a professional to install a French drain for you.
It will require some excavation around the perimeter of your house, but it will be worth the effort, as water will no longer sit by the foundation and get under.
Tip two: Install moisture barriers
A moisture barrier has also proven to be effective at draining water away from under your house.
They are built to keep water from flowing from the outer parts of the foundation to under your home. The impregnable layer of waterproof material not only ensures that water is kept away from your foundation but also protects it from vapor too.
Don’t forget that vapor is simply water in gaseous form, and will eventually turn back to liquid when it cools off.
The best time to construct a moisture barrier is during the building stages of the house. Although they can still be put in place long after the house has been completed.
Tip three: Install area drains
Area drains are great for diverting excess water that may have piled up after heavy rainfall.
They can be connected to your already-existing gutters and downspouts to remove the water before it accumulates near your foundation.
They aren’t quite the same as French drains, as they have no holes in the pipes.
You should hire a trusted contractor to install this type of drain. They are better skilled for the job, and you can be sure they’d get it right.
Tip four: Install swales
This is probably the simplest type of outdoor drainage system in the world. But don’t let that fool you, as it works very well in keeping water away from your foundation and under your house.
They are shallow drain ditches that collect water from around your foundation and channel it to an outside drainage system.
The best part about swales is that they are easy and inexpensive to install.
Tip five: Use downspout extensions
Another means by which you can drain water away from the foundation of your home is by extending your downspouts. That is if your already installed downspouts don’t go far enough.
Downspouts collect rain water from the roof and redirect it downwards. If the downspouts are not extended far enough, they will deposit the rainwater too close to the foundation, and the water will eventually penetrate.
This is where downspout extensions come in. They should extend as far as 30 feet away from the foundation, where they will deposit the water.
If you notice standing water spread across a 10-foot range from your foundation more than two hours after rainfall, then you definitely need one or more of the above-mentioned drainage systems to keep the water from getting under your house.
Tip six: Re-slope your yard
After you have installed the necessary drains, you can have a landscaper come over to take a look at your yard. They will be able to determine the slope of your yard, and if it tilts towards the foundation or away from it.
You can determine this yourself by simply observing after rainfall. If water gathers by the foundation, then it means your yard slopes in that direction.
To relieve your foundation of hydrostatic pressure, you can have your yard re-sloped in a way that leans away from your foundation. That way water flows away from the building when it rains, and not towards it.
I have to mention though, re-doing your landscape isn’t a day’s job, and will definitely cause you some inconveniences along the way. But trust me, it’ll be worth it in the end.
Your house loses great value when you allow water to get under it and remain there. In such a situation, mold and pest insects will be attracted.
Worse still, the water can weaken the foundation and lead to a collapse.
Be sure to install the necessary drainage systems as I have recommended here to drain water from under your house. Also, redo your landscape if need be to relieve your foundation of hydrostatic pressure.