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Seattle Pest Control and Home Services: How to get rid of standing water under your home.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to get rid of standing water under your home.

Water is the enemy of your home.  Take a few steps back and look at the design of your home and you will see how much of its design is to simply keep water out.  The roof is pitched to allow water to drain into the gutters and be taken away from it.  Siding is placed to allow water to flow off of it.  Even the soil surrounding the home is graded to allow water to be diverted away from the home.  Keeping water off of your home is the single most important aspect of keeping your home healthy.

So, what happens when the enemy of your home sneakily gathers under the home in pools?  It is easy to miss when standing water is down in your crawl space.  I mean, nobody really spends much time down there, so things like that are found all the time without home owners even knowing about it.

Is it okay to let it just sit there and wait for it to eventually evaporate?
No, that is not a good idea.  Water rises as it evaporates and those vapors make their way into your subfloor.  This can soften and damage the floor over time and cause some very expensive bills later on.  Most homes have a vapor barrier under their home which is a 6 mil plastic sheeting that covers all of the exposed ground.  The purpose of the vapor barrier is to stop moisture from rising from the damp ground under your home into the subfloor.  So, you can just imagine how damaging it is when you have a couple inches of water on top of that vapor barrier with nothing stopping the moisture from rising.

How do you get the water out?
You need to have it pumped out.  One way to do this is to set up a temporary sump pump.  You find the lowest point and place the sump pump in there.  You usually have to knock out a vent screen and run some temporary piping.  After you get the water pumped out, we can start to think about how we are going to stop it from happening again.

What system should I put in place to stop standing water from accumulating?
That would depend upon a few factors.  If you have definite low spot in your crawl space, we might advise you to install a permanent sump pump.  We install sump pumps in the Seattle area and recommend New Leaf Pest Control in the Portland area if you live in the Pacific NW.  We also may want to look into installing a French drain around your home if water is pooling in from outside.

Getting rid of standing water is really important, so if you are experiencing this, we would love the opportunity to assist you, even if you just want to ask a few questions.  We would love to help you decide which system is best for you.

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