Your home's basement crawlspace provides you extra storage space for items you don't use or need all the time. Unfortunately, when your home's crawlspace begins to have issues with moisture intrusion, that storage space is not of any use. Besides causing damage to your storage, water seeping into your home's crawlspace from outside sources creates mold and mildew problems in your home along with health issues. Because it can be helpful to remedy a moisture problem in your crawlspace by stopping it at its source, here are some instructions to prevent water from entering into your home's crawlspace from the surrounding soil.
Protect Your Basement Crawlspace
Moisture entering into your crawlspace can come from several causes. You may deal with a wet crawlspace if you live in an area that has a high water table, groundwater that may flow from a nearby body of water or river, or excessive wet weather that causes an overabundance of water draining down into the soil around your home.
It can be more effective to stop the moisture from reaching your home's foundation rather than waterproofing and installing a sump pump inside your basement to divert it after it has already seeped inside. By installing a French drain around your home's crawlspace foundation, you can catch and divert water before it reaches your home.
Excavate the Trench
Remove the landscaping from where you will be excavating the trench. This includes removing and safely relocating any vegetation with the use of planting pots. Cut out and roll aside any lawn so you can replace it when the work is completed.
Excavate a trench around three or more sides of your home's foundation to a depth of slightly below the foundation. This is important as the drain will catch water that trickles down from your home's roof gutters and also catch water that rises from ground water levels. Be sure to dig the trench on any sides of your home that face upward-sloping ground or ground that has a body of water or waterway.
It is recommended to dig the trench at least 12 inches wide to allow you to install the drain pipe system. It can be helpful to rent a power trencher from a local equipment rental business to help you do the labor of digging the trench. Place the excavated soil on a tarp in your yard or on soil so the excavated dirt does not kill your lawn or any other vegetation while you are installing the French drain.
Install the Drain System
Line the bottom and approximately 18 inches up the sides of the trench with landscaping fabric. The landscaping fabric will prevent soil from filtering into and clogging the drain pipe. Then, pour at least two inches of gravel in the bottom of the trench, lining the trench and covering the landscaping fabric. Make sure the gravel you use is clean and free of any silt or dirt so it doesn't cause clogs in the drain pipe.
Lay the drain pipe on top of the gravel with its perforations facing downward. Pour an additional layer of gravel until it reaches five inches from the surrounding landscaping. If there is excess landscaping fabric poking from the trench, wrap the landscaping fabric around the top of the gravel.
Restore Your Landscaping
Replace top soil from the excavated pile of soil onto the gravel layer, and cover the soil with its original landscaping. Because you replaced the majority of the soil with gravel in the excavated trench, you should have excess fill dirt remaining. Much of this fill dirt may not be of good quality that you want to use in topsoil and landscaping. You can give it away free to a local farmer, neighbor, construction company, or to someone looking for free fill dirt.
Use these instructions to help you install a French drain system to help waterproof your crawlspace. For more information, go to websites that offer contact information for basement waterproofing companies.