Clogged Exterior Footing Drain

The footing drain is installed after a home’s foundation is built, and before any of the soil has been backfilled. A bed of gravel is laid down next to the outside of the foundation. Next, the drain will be put in place on top of the small rocks that are there to help keep it in place. More gravel is placed on top of the pipe, and sometimes a special fabric is added over the pipe to keep some particles from passing through. After the drain is in place, the area is then backfilled with soil.

Clogged Crawl Space Exterior Footing Drain
Clogged Crawl Space Exterior Footing Drain

This drain can collect water from the soil before it is able to get into the crawl space or crawl space of a home. However, over time, the drain is going to be come clogged with dirt, tree roots, and with other types of outdoor debris.

Eventually, all exterior footing drains will need to be serviced, whether by means of repair work, or even with replacement. This drain is very important when it comes to helping keep moisture at bay with a crawl space.

Warning Signs of a Clogged Footing Drain

  1. Water is building up along the crawl space footing, or inside of the crawl space itself.
  2. Some spots on the first floor of the home feel un-level or as if they are “sinking.”
  3. A musty, foul odor can be smelled throughout the home.
  4. During a visual inspection of the crawl space, standing puddles of water can be seen, as well as noticeable wood rot and damage to any insulating materials in place.

Crawl Space Flooding

If the drain outside the home is having a hard time keeping moisture out, the crawl space may eventually become flooded. This moisture can contribute to the growth of dangerous mold or mildew, and it can also cause wooden support beams and floor joists to rot, warp, and decay. This is a problem that must be dealt with sooner rather than later to help with preserving the structural integrity of the home.

Crawl Space Encapsulation

After the drain has been repaired or replaced, it is also important to consider getting the crawl space sealed off from the outside environment for even more protection against moisture damage.

The encapsulation process will involve the installation of a few or all of the following products and systems: dehumidifiers, drainage systems, sump pumps, floor liners, reflective thermal barriers, vapor barriers, insulating materials, or even stabilizers to help keep floors level and sturdy. All of these products are designed with a primary goal of helping to keep the crawl space a dry, safe, and healthy environment.

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If You've Got Crawl Space Questions, We've Got Crawl Space Answers!

At Crawl Space Maintenance, we get a lot of questions from people concerning their crawl spaces. In this section we answer the most commonly asked questions. If we do not have the answer you are looking for, you can submit your question to an Expert in our Network.