With a US homeownership rate of over 60%, homeowners need to know how to properly service their home. If flooding hits your area, will you know what to do?
A flooded crawl space can be a common home issue for various reasons. Whether it’s caused by poor soil or improper drainage systems, fixing a flooded space can be a tricky situation. Luckily, we’re here with a complete guide to help you drain and clean your crawl space after a flood.
What to Do With a Flooded Crawl Space
The crawl space is an overlooked part of the home that may look different according to your house. Some crawl spaces are within the walls of the home while others are underneath.
If your crawl space is underneath your home along with the foundation, then flooding can feel like a scary situation. When crawl space flooding hits, it’s important to follow the right steps for proper cleanup.
1. Pump out the Water
Proper crawl space water removal requires quick action to prevent as much damage as possible. The first step is to use a pump to remove the water from the area.
A pump usually has two hoses. Place the first hose inside the crawl space and the second one outside and away from the house. Turn the pump on and let it suck up the water from the crawl space and move it outside.
Remember not to turn it on without water, since pumping air through the machine will damage the seals. Using a water pump is the fastest way to get water out, so it’s best to use this method instead of a bucket brigade system.
2. Wet and Dry Vacuum
Once the extra water has been removed you’ll be left with small amounts of water that isn’t as easy to suck up with a pump. Instead, you can use a wet and dry vacuum to remove the last few puddles.
Wet and dry vacuums are designed specifically to be used for both sucking up dry debris and water. They’re great to have on hand for crawl space flooding and you’ll want to invest in a durable model.
3. Push Broom
If a wet and dry vacuum doesn’t work or the cord doesn’t reach far enough, you can use a push broom to clean up the water. Move the water to the entrance of the crawl space so it’s easy to vacuum it up.
4. Drying out the Crawl Space
Even after standing water is gone, moisture can remain on concrete flooring because it’s a cooler material. To prevent this from happening, use a dehumidifier to draw out the remaining moisture.
If you don’t have a dehumidifier, you can also use an outdoor radiant heater to burn off the remaining moisture. Make sure your machinery is waterproof and safe to use in a small crawl space.
Remember to use extension cords to help your machine reach the farthest places. You should also give this step plenty of time since lingering moisture can cause mildew and mold to grow.
5. Inspect for Water Damage
Once you’re sure all of the water has been removed and the crawl space has dried out, it’s time to inspect for damage. This is an important step because mold damage can grow to become costly issues for your home.
Check for areas where the wood has warped from the moisture. You should also keep an eye out for places where mold or mildew has begun to grow.
6. Take Preventative Measures
When you’re repairing your crawl space after a flood, you’ll want to make sure you take preventative measures so that flooding doesn’t happen again. To do this, you should seal the crawl space well to keep out external sources of flooding.
Close off all vents and install air-tight and waterproof access doors. If your crawl space has dirt floors, try laying down a plastic vapor barrier to help block soil moisture.
You can also install a sump pump to remove any water vapor that builds up in the space. If you don’t have a sump pump, you can try installing a dehumidifier to help combat any moisture buildup.
Crawl Space Facts
What’s so important about taking care of your crawl space? It’s an essential piece in maintaining the health of your home.
A crawl space is essentially the foundation of a home. It props the house up off of the ground, which prevents it from damage due to damp or termite-prone soil. It can also house the guts of a home’s ductwork or plumbing.
Because of the makeup of crawl spaces, it’s important to make sure they remain clean and dry. This is especially important if you need to service your HVAC unit or plumbing because the job often requires someone to crawl down into the space.
If you want to avoid flooding or water damage, you can speak with a professional about laying down a drainage system made from pipes and gravel. Just in case a bad storm hits, you can also prepare for potential flooding by knowing the proper steps of draining and drying your crawl space.
Caring for Your Home
As a homeowner, it’s important not to forget proper maintenance for this part of your home. If moisture or water is left for long periods, it can cause major damage that may cost you a fortune down the road.
Luckily, the right steps for cleaning a flooded crawl space is a simple DIY process. You can use this guide to help care for your home and become a knowledgeable homeowner.
Looking for more tips and tricks to prep your home for selling? Check out our money-saving advice for prepping your home for the market.