As a SeaTac-area resident, you don’t need anyone to tell you that you live in one of the rainiest places in the continental United States. On average, Seattle enjoys — or perhaps endures — 152 rainy days per year.
With that much rainfall and the Olympic Peninsula’s high humidity levels, it’s no wonder homeowners experience constant issues like wet basements, damp crawl spaces and the occasional basement flood.
Sump pumps are one common solution homeowners employ to keep their basements dry. Typically, homeowners install sump pumps beneath their basement floors where water often collects. However, you can place sump pumps nearly anywhere water tends to accumulate — including inside your crawl spaces.
If you frequently deal with wet crawl spaces, keep reading. We’ll explain how sump pumps keep damp crawl spaces dry and what else you can do to keep your crawl spaces dry so that they don’t attract rats or create mold and property damage.
How Do Sump Pumps Work?
Most sump pumps sit just under or just above your basement floor, depending on whether or not you invest in a submersible sump pump. As water collects, it drains into the sump pump, which then pumps the water out of your home.
In the past, most sump pumps drained into the local sewer. Nowadays, though, most municipalities prevent homeowners from discharging pumped water directly into the sewers because the excess water can overload the city’s system. Instead, homeowners should run their pump’s discharge line into a dry well or any area outside the house that lets the water run away from the property.
Sump pumps run on electricity and need to be installed near an outlet. However, you can also find battery-powered sump pumps that don’t rely on an outlet and will still function in a power outage, which is important as natural disasters like floods can affect your city’s electrical grid.
Some homeowners choose to install two sump pumps: a main sump pump and a backup battery-powered sump pump for emergencies.
Why Would You Need a Crawl Space Sump Pump?
Not every homeowner needs a crawl space sump pump. If you never experience pooled water in your crawl spaces or have taken several precautions already to protect your crawl spaces, like adding ventilation and concrete, you may have nipped the problem of flooded crawl spaces in the bud.
However, just because you’ve never noticed crawl space problems doesn’t mean you don’t have them. Many homeowners fail to check their crawl spaces for water issues since, unlike basements, crawl spaces are out of sight and out of mind.
If you’ve never inspected your crawl space before, make sure you take a peek and pay attention to mold, musty odors, signs of rat infestations and, of course, pooled water.
If your damp crawl space problem has gotten so bad that water has started collecting, it’s definitely time to consider installing a crawl space sump pump. Most crawl spaces have electrical outlets, so you may need to call an electrician to install one.
As with basement sump pumps, crawl space sump pumps should have emergency battery backup systems in case something happens to the city’s power grid in a disaster situation.
What Else Can You Do to Keep Your Crawl Space Dry?
Sump pumps remove water that’s already collected, but they don’t help you keep water out in the first place. While they act as pivotal emergency aids and damage reducers, they’re just one crucial part of a complete crawl space moisture-reducing plan.
Along with installing a crawl space sump pump, you should consider other measures.
Crawl Space Ventilation
Mold flourishes in darkness and dampness. Mechanical air pumps expel moisture and potentially dangerous gases like radon from your crawl spaces and into the surrounding environment.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
Most moisture enters your crawl space from the surrounding dirt and foundation. Encapsulation keeps that moisture from getting inside the crawl space in the first place.
Crawl Space Moisture Barriers
Like concrete encapsulation, moisture barriers prevent mold, water, and pests from getting inside of your crawl spaces.
When you combine wet crawl space solutions like those above with emergency measures like crawl space sump pumps, you can stop moisture from getting in and move excess water out if a flood or foundation crack lets water seep into the crawl space.
Find Peace of Mind and Reduce Damage
Installing a crawl space sump pump can stop you from worrying that pests, mold, and property damage are spreading beneath your floors. Work with a basement waterproofing professional to find and install the right crawl space sump pump for your Seattle-area home.
You’ll enjoy not just a cleaner, dryer crawl space area, but also the greater peace of mind that comes with knowing every aspect of your property is safe and sound.
Looking for wet crawl space or basement solutions in the Seattle and Tacoma region? PermaDry Waterproofing has the tools and experience to help. Read about our professional sump pump installation services on our website.