Water under the house

Old 12-04-03, 10:53 PM
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Thumbs down Water under the house

This isn't really a basement question but it's the same area:

Every year the underside of my house slowly turns into a mud pit. The first few times it rains it stays dry but after a few months it slowly turns into a giant mud pit with patches of standing water.

I've eliminated any place where surface water could run directly in through the vents/crawlspaces. This slowed the problem down but it just takes longer for the same thing to happen. The lot is allmost completely level with the underside of the house being the lowest point on the lot and only a few inches higher than the top of the drainage ditch out front. I checked this out with a transit a few summers ago.

Because the crawlspace is only 15-18 inches (and really unpleasant, especially in the winter)and that 50-75% of the underside of the house is standing water/mud it's not really feasable to dig a sump under there. The problem is worse on the driveway side where the asphalt drive actually runs right up to the foundation and not as bad on the side with the lawn. It looks like the water is just coming out of the ground and is usually still wet until allmost July. If I dig a hole to the hardpan during the winter it fills up with water in short order.

A few people have suggested having a few "drywells" dug near the areas it seems to start. The hardpan is about 24" down on most of the property. No idea how thick it is. Other people have told me the only way to fix the problem is to put a "french drain"all the way around the foundation and use pumps to put the water in the ditch. I'm not sure the water is bothering me enough to go to that trouble.

Hoping for good suggestions.
Old 12-09-03, 03:19 PM
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Sounds like you have a serious drainage problem there. If you can't grade your lot to get natural drainage, the french drain & pump idea is probably the next best bet.

I see that you're in Rio Linda, so you probably have soil conditions similar to San Jose.........lots of clay!! Clay doesn't percolate water well so you have to get creative to get water away from the house.

I also suggest that you go to some trouble to fix this situation. All that water under your house will almost certainly cause problems eventually. You can spend some money now or much more money later

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