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Old 05-07-2009, 01:18 PM  
tom.walker
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Default Help! Water in the crawl space!

I need help with a serious problem. I have a significant amount of water that fills the crawl space under my house when it rains or snows allot. Usually during the spring and fall it fills up with about 4 inches of water. There are 5 separate compartments under my house and each of them fill up in this manner. I usually wind up pumping out the water and leaving the access door open with a fan in it to dry out the space. During the summer months it will get to a hard mud consistency before the summer is over. Then it fills back up again at the change of the next season. This has been going on for about 5 years now. (as long as we have owned the house). I know I've been somewhat of an idiot for letting it go on this long. However, it has been one of those things where when I've had the money to address it, I've not had the time. The reverse is also true. I will soon have both and have the opportunity to finally solve the issue.
Now... here is the reason for my writing. My house is built on flat farmland and the ground is 18 inches of topsoil on top of a VERY hard layer of clay. The water pools in the topsoil and travels under the foundation of the house. I have done a significant amount of research on this and know what I need to do. It appears that when my house was built, the builder did not put the usual french drain around the foundation to draw water away prior to making it to the foundation walls. The problem is that the house has a very sturdy covered porch that wraps around the entire house. To put the drain directly next to the foundation, I would need to rip up the entire porch flooring all the way around the house to install it. My father suggested that since the porch covers about 6 feet of area beyond the foundation and keeps it dry; that I put the drain around the edge of the porch. The problem here is that I have flower beds around the entire porch as well. What do you think I should do? Would it be a problem putting the drain around the porch instead of directly against the foundation? Would the french drain work under the flower beds? Would that be a problem for anything I plant in the beds?
Some additional info incase you were wondering... The downspouts from my guttering is currently flowing into the yard. My plans are to route them with drain pipe to a nearby drainage ditch via a separate drain system when I put in the french drains.

I've included a picture of the house to help with the thought process.

Any help you could provide would be GREAT. When I get the chance to do this, I really want to do this only once so I'm appealing to the experts. Thanks!
Tom



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Old 05-07-2009, 08:12 PM  
travelover
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How about putting drain pipe in pea gravel around the perimeter of the inside of the foundation, then connect it to a sump with a sump pump? If you pump the water to a place where it can drain away from the house, it should not run back. I did something similar in a house that had half crawl space and half basement.

I'd also drain the downspouts to the same place.



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Old 05-08-2009, 09:16 AM  
tom.walker
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Default Interior drain and pump suggestion.

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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
How about putting drain pipe in pea gravel around the perimeter of the inside of the foundation, then connect it to a sump with a sump pump? If you pump the water to a place where it can drain away from the house, it should not run back. I did something similar in a house that had half crawl space and half basement.

I'd also drain the downspouts to the same place.
That was my original plan and is still my back up plan. The reason I redirected to an exterior solution was for a couple of reasons. First, since I have 5 separate compartments under the house, I would need to install this solution in each compartment. This would be expensive and the space is only about 36 inches tall. It would make digging the trenches and the holes for the pumps rather difficult. The second reason is because it was brought to my attention that the water could damage the bricks that make up the foundation. I figured that the best solution for the money, time, and the foundation was to stop the water before it had a chance to make it to the foundation walls.
All of this being said, your idea is still not off the table. One definite benefit to your solution is that if I ever have busted water pipe, the water would be purged from under the house before it had a chance to build up.

Thanks for the suggestion!

-Tom
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:46 PM  
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Is it possible that the water is primarily coming from one direction such that you would not need to install a trench drain around the whole house? If not, you may have the bite the bullet

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Old 05-08-2009, 09:25 PM  
DaveyDIY
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Just directing the downspouts away from my house stopped water in my basement. Why haven't you done this already?

I don't think there is any real problem deciding between tearing up the flower gardens or the porch

Is there any slope at all anywhere?
I'd dig & install a drain one the side(s) nearest the drainage ditch
Direct the downspouts into the ditch
Then see how that works, then do the next sides
No sense installing a sump pump when gravity can do the job for you



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