How do I seal crawlspace entry? (Water intrusion.)

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Old 03-07-14, 01:58 PM
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How do I seal crawlspace entry? (Water intrusion.)

This...


...is making this happen.


How can I seal this up? I haven't worked with something like this before.

And yes, I have checked for leakage. We actually replaced the main drain that would be seen under that water. That is why it pools up there; there is a low point from when we replaced the line. We have had weeks of rain.
 
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Old 03-07-14, 02:09 PM
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Whole bunch of stuff going on there.
Grade under the house lower then the outside grade.
Block should have been higher then the outside grade at the bottom of the opening.
No slope in grade away from the house.
May no gutters.
Block needed to be water proofed below grade.
No pit filled with stone and a drain outside the door.
 
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Old 03-07-14, 02:40 PM
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Looks like my old house.

Joe, this construction is rather common in this area. The surrounding ground IS higher than the bottom of the crawlspace and only a small "well" is built to facilitate entry. As a result water inside the crawlspace is not uncommon but neither is it inevitable. I had a high water table which caused some problems but for the most part the surface of my crawlspace was dry, even during the rainy season which runs from about October through June.

uRabbit, where exactly do you live? My previous home is in Mountlake Terrace. Does the rain run off your roof (or overflow the gutters) directly into the entry or is it only from a driving rain from a certain direction? Does it run from the yard into the access well? Does the ground in the well soak up the rain quickly or does it pool?

Or have I completely mis-characterized the construction and you have no well? In either case that sill plate, even though it is a piece of pressure treated wood, should have concrete beneath it to s depth of at least six inches. Excavating out the "floor" in front of the door and filling in with gravel (as Joe suggests) will help provided the underlying soil drains fairly well.

Maybe posting a few more pictures taken from a distance so we can see the way the land slopes and other things will help.
 
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Old 03-07-14, 03:43 PM
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This is only one side-effect of a much larger issue. We plan on installing a French drainage system when the soil is not so boggy. It is clay, after all. I have posted before about my boggy yard. http://imgur.com/a/frRKD#PUbm0tb]Here is an album.]Boggy Yard - Imgur

So, yes, the entry to the crawl space is a bit lower than some other areas of the yard.

Should I get out there and excavate some of the dirt in front of it? I am ordering an $80 utility pump right now (really don't want to/can't really afford to get that right now, but we have more rain coming this season). I also have bags of all purpose gravel that I have aside for the French drain and fence posts. Should I use those? I could dig some out and put in one of those metal wall things, I suppose, and line the bottom with some of the all purpose gravel I have?
 
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Old 03-07-14, 05:39 PM
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It's not likely just the open pit admitting the water in the crawl space. I also have clay in my property and after long rains my sump pump runs quite a bit. I think the clay layers trap the water which ends up pooling in my crawl space that is lower than that first layer of clay.
 
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Old 03-07-14, 08:53 PM
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It isn't the pit. There is no pit. Or 'well', as they're called. I'm going to dig one tomorrow, line it with all purpose gravel, and build a retaining wall two bricks high.
 
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Old 03-15-14, 05:45 AM
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no matter what, IF you don't regrade the area so ALL water is directed AWAY from your home, you'll still be wet,,, water runs downhill on both the west coast, east coast, & all the lands in between

IF you can't properly regrade the area, you'll need a sump & pump

by 'pit' is everyone referring to ' window wells ' ? ? ?
 
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Old 03-17-14, 07:42 PM
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How could I properly regrade the lawn?

Here is an album containing all of the images (including two drawings of how our home's lot is laid out): Boggy Yard - Imgur

Also, what is that cast-iron looking thing under my roof drainage spout?

After pumping all that water out the other day with a utility pump, we had another rain. Just as much water is back in there, and it was around 800 gallons. I think it may be because we replaced the ABS pipe that goes between the cast iron main drain and the cast iron junction (the pipe we replaced is now underwater again), and we did not put the dirt back, so you can actually see the bottom of the foundation where the pipe goes under it. I meant to fill it after pumping the water, but a work emergency came up so I had to leave. Then it rained the next morning and day and night. >.<

So... I am going to fill that dirt back in. Also, I am trying to dig a new pit/well for the crawl space and putting a retaining wall around it so that at least the yard won't add much water to what that area will suck up by itself. However, I am concerned that I may be removing some barrier by digging down along the foundation. With less dirt there to block water from getting in, it seems it defeats the purpose. Maybe I will build up the corner (where foundation and patio meet; you can see a small puddle in that corner in one of the images in that album), as the drain pipe is directly below that.

Any other suggestions? I'd like to look into grading, and I'm planning on installing French drainage around the foundation walls as well. Our neighbor's roof downspout also comes down and contributes to the issue quite a bit. The city has left us with no help, so we have to address the neighbor issue ourselves. Any suggestions for what to do there, as the neighbor is unresponsive to door-knockings and letters.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 10:27 AM
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around here, most guys use a track'd bobcat & level - lawns generally slope 1":10' for proper drainage here but most of us have either bermuda or zoysia.

IF you'd replaced the pipe, you'd still have wtr,,, why no sump for the pump ?

this could be a diy job but depends largely on your operating skill w/bobcat & level,,, from what i see, regrading's only 3 or 4 hrs for guys who know their stuff
 
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Old 03-19-14, 08:36 PM
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There are many issues concerning regrading. The garage is behind the house, and is the lowest point on the lot. So the grade would probably be very sharp and would create a sort of canyon in the middle between the garage and house. We had a contractor over and he said he would just build up the soil against the garage. Sounded bad to me, as I would think water would just leach into the garage as it is already doing.

I think we could regrade would just some shovels and metal rakes. Our lot is not that large. The trouble is figuring out how to do it. Also figuring out what to do about a sump pump and French drain system.
 
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Old 03-20-14, 05:12 AM
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then try some swales,,, you NEVER want soil builup against a structure UNLESS the structure's been built as below-grade.

we're getting a $7K job today - planter against a town house / condo,,, no waterproofing - just brick veneer,,, took awhile but they all leak eventually when blt that way,,, coincindentally, the boat show's soon

when our guy redid our backyard, we had to remove a fence section to get the cat into the yard

zoeller m-53 [ no $ interest ] but NEVER pedestal pumps - may not need a drain system - just a properly installed sump.
 
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Old 03-20-14, 06:28 AM
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Yep we have thought about swales and dry creek beds. It would severely change the design of our lot, though. And I'm not sure where to put one.

Also, I could build soil up against the house since it has foundation, yes?
 
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Old 03-24-14, 05:03 AM
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then i guess you've come to a decision block - keep the lot design as is OR stop the water & its damage to your very fine home by fixing the problem,,, its your home so, luckily, you can do whatever you want
 
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Old 03-24-14, 06:47 AM
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Here is a diagram I drew up of our lot; where would I put swales?

 
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