Have you checked your crawlspace lately?
After several days of torrential rain here in the Ozarks, it's likely that you might have some standing water in your crawlspace or basement. This is an extremely common problem, but one that can be avoided or at least managed. Here are several tips on how to effectively manage foundation water issues.
1) Ensure you have positive drainage around the perimeter of your foundations - in other words, make sure the dirt around your foundation is sloped away from the foundation and not towards it. This is usually the most common problem, and thankfully, one of the easiest to fix. We recommend adding fill dirt to areas that are sloping towards the house.
2) Make sure all gutters and downspouts are cleaned out and properly attached to your home
3) Make sure splash blocks and down spout extensions are installed - this helps to divert water away from your foundation. Another common problem, and another easy fix. You can purchase splash blocks and down spout extensions at home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowe's.
4) Install a vapor barrier - vapor barriers help to control the moisture and dampness within a crawlspace. Without a vapor barrier, you are more susceptible to mold and mildew growth. You can call our friends over at Fight The Bite Pest Control for a vapor barrier quote and install.
5) Open crawlspace vents in the Spring - do this now if you haven't already done so. When your crawlspace or foundation vents are open, it allows air to circulate through your crawlspace, preventing moisture/mildew/mold growth. Note: Make sure you close your vents in the winter! Your pipes could freeze if you don't!
6) Install a foundation vent fan - if your crawlspace is constantly damp, a foundation vent fan might be a good idea. A foundation vent fan helps to circulate air within a crawlspace, keeping it dry and free of moisture. Foundation vent fans are also affordable. Check out this one on Amazon.com.
7) Install a French drain system - if you've discovered that water is only coming in from one side of your home, a French drain system could be an excellent, yet potentially expensive fix.
8) Install a sump pump in the crawlspace - another fairly expensive option, but a good one. We recommend having a sump pump installed at the lowest spot in your crawlspace. The sump pump essentially works by "pumping" that water out and away from the home.
9) Completely encapsulate your crawlspace - this is expensive and should really only be considered as a last ditch effort. Your crawlspace is essentially covered with a material similar to a pool liner.
10) Inspect your crawlspace once every 6 months - by routinely checking your crawlspace, you can spot these problems early enough where a simple solution can usually be determined. If you haven't checked out your crawlspace lately, please do it soon!
Stay safe out there! And stay dry!