The Blog

Flooding Checklist: What to do When Your Crawl Space Floods

By Chuck Henrichsen on May 21, 2014

This article has been updated with new a info-graphic since its original publishing date!

In the Pacific Northwest, spring rain is a given. Rain year round, in fact, is a certainty. Because of where we live, however, it can be easy for us to forget that, when the spring rain comes and there are days of downpours and deluges, things begin to flood.

Floods can severely damage the structural integrity of your home by damaging support beams and foundations, and allowing moisture to create mold or mildew (more information in our free eBook - see below).

Take a look at the following info-graphic for more details!

 

Seattle Crawl Space Flooding Checklist


 

Infographic Summary And Additional Information:

Your basement or crawl space! This is why is it so important to consistently check your crawl space for water accumulation.

So, what should you do when you realize that you’ve got a mini swimming pool rapidly rising underneath your floorboards? Here’s our list of tips on how to handle a sudden flood in your crawl space:

  • Turn off electrical power to your home. If you’re going to be standing or kneeling in water, it is vital that you turn off all the electrical power in the home. This way, if the water reaches an electrical socket, you won’t be the recipient of a bad shock.

  • Save the valuables stored in the crawl space. Keep as many items from succumbing to water damage as possible. However, if the water is rising too rapidly, as in the case of a flash flood, do not risk going into the crawl space to retrieve goods. Your life is worth more than your old wedding dress that’s stored in a sealed bin.

  • Ensure that your sump-pump is working. If you are able, add any additional pumps to help remove the water.

  • Test the crawl space vapor barrier. It’s common for floods to hide beneath this plastic sheeting. What appears to be a small flood on top of the plastic sheeting may actually be a full 12 inches of water beneath. Make a slit in the barrier near to the sump pump to allow excess water to drain out.

  • Check up on your pumps regularly. As the flood continues, monitor your pumps to ensure their continued labors in extracting all water from your crawl space. If the flood continues for several days, or continues to rise despite your best efforts, it may be best to call in water extractors.

  • Take pictures! If you have flood insurance, some damages may be covered by your insurance company. Taking lots of pictures and keeping accurate records of everything damaged by the flood can help you get adequate compensation following the insurance claims.

  • Investigate contacting FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). If your flood is a part of a local disaster, it may be wise to contact FEMA. They are, however, notorious for refusing to pay damages or minimizing the damage caused by the flood, so don’t expect much compensation.

Handling a flood in your crawl space can be a tremendous ordeal. Thankfully, we’re here to help you handle the aftermath of a flood. Clean Crawls has several companies who we trust and use to get standing water out of your crawl space, and to dry it out. Often the cause of water in your crawl space is poor drainage and we also know an awesome company for that. Following a thorough cleanup of the space, we start by repairing cracks in the walls, corners, or foundation, laying a new vapor barrier, replacing damaged insulation with new insulation, and checking for sound beams and foundation.

Contact us today if your home has been the victim of one of the spring floods afflicting our areas so that we can ensure the health and security of your home.

*Note: We do not perform water removal services in the case of flooding emergencies.

Chuck Henrichsen
President and CEO of Clean Crawls, Treasurer of E3 World Wide, proud husband and father.