It’s the last thing you want to deal with after a torrential downpour. Standing water in the crawl space after a heavy rain creates a dangerous mess that has to be cleaned up as soon as possible.
Do you know how to dry out the crawl space under your house? Are you sure it’s a job you want to tackle by yourself?
Before you face this homeowner’s dilemma, consider the work, equipment and risks involved. It’s not a DIY project for everyone. Let’s take a look at the details now so that you can be better prepared to handle water in the crawl space.
What You Need to Do First
There’s so much to take care of after any type of storm damage especially when you have to deal with a flooded crawl space. Knowing what to do first makes a big difference in personal safety and property recovery.
• Call your insurance company, and get the claims process started right away.
• Turn off the electricity to the lower levels of your home before entering the crawl space.
• Document crawl space water damage with pictures for the insurance adjuster.
• If you have any stored valuables that can be saved, contact a restoration company.
How to Dry Out the Crawl Space Under the House: 5 DIY Steps
Suit up for crawl space water removal with work boots and heavy gloves. You may also need to rent a pump, a wet-dry vac, heavy fans and a large dehumidifier.
1. Dispose of Damaged Materials
Don’t try to salvage belongings that have been under water for more than a few hours. Dispose of all wet materials including soaked insulation and submerged vapor barriers.
2. Start Pumping Out Flood Water
If you have a sump pump in the crawl space, make sure it’s working. Even if it is operating properly, back it up with another pump to move out standing water as quickly as possible.
3. Finish With a Wet Vacuum
Use a wet vac to remove water left behind after pumping. A push broom comes in handy for moving water in hard-to-reach areas to levels you can finish off with the wet vac.
4. Start the Drying Process
Position large fans and at least one dehumidifier on level surfaces throughout the crawl space. Let the equipment run for at least three days, and regularly empty dehumidifier reservoirs.
Important Power Tip: Operate pumps, wet vacs, fans and dehumidifiers with heavy-duty extension cords connected to GFCI outlets located safely above the crawl space.
5. Address Any Signs of Mold
Inspect piers, ducts, joists, overhead subflooring and the interior foundation for mold. If you see any signs of fungal growth, clean it up, and treat affected areas with mold remediation products.
Why You Need Think Twice About DIY
If your only entrance under the house is through an exterior opening, consider how you’ll manage to get equipment in and out. Even a small entry door through a closet or pantry room can be a problem especially with no more than 4 to 5 feet of clearance overhead.
Water in crawl spaces after a heavy rain is usually contaminated with insect and animal debris mixed with mold and damaged materials. Crawl space insulation and ductwork in older homes often contain asbestos. Consider all factors and related health risks before starting any work under the house.
Who You Should Call for Help
Most homeowners ask their insurance agent about who to call for water in the crawl space. Cleanup can be dangerous and time-consuming. Crawl space water damage breeds mold, compromises your home’s indoor air quality and threatens its structural integrity. An experienced water damage restoration contractor addresses these problems and more with:
• Truck-mounted pumping equipment.
• Heavy-duty air circulators and dehumidifiers.
• Certified mold removal and remediation processes.
• Specialized deodorizing and sanitizing systems.
By leaving the job in the hands of restoration professionals, you know the crawl space is clean, dry and safe. Their services also make it easier to handle the water damage claims process.
We’re Ready With a Fast Response
If you decide to clean up crawl space water damage on your own, please be careful. Take a minute now to print out our guidelines, and keep them handy just in case. We’re here to answer any questions you might have through our Comments Section.
We’re also here with a fast response to all types of water damage. Our teams take care of everything from flooded crawl spaces to swamped basements. You can rely on ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba for expert water damage mitigation across Chicago and the suburbs. We’re always ready for your call.