Why is water standing near my foundation wall? Most wet basements or crawlspaces are caused by surface water which is not adequately drained away from the foundation wall. Sources of this water include roof runoff, excessive irrigation or rainwater runoff. Roof runoff occurs when the guttering is non-existent, inadequate, leaks or is clogged. If the downspouts are draining too close to the foundation, water easily enters the crawlspace through the foundation wall, especially during heavy rains. Prolonged or excessive irrigation or watering can contribute a large amount of water to crawlspaces and basements. Runoff from walkway and driveway areas or adjacent lawns is possible if the landscaping and/or topography in the general vicinity forces the water to drain toward the house instead of away.
What causes the water marks on the foundation walls? Water in the ground outside the crawlspace will come through the porous concrete foundation block, leaving some mineral deposits on the block as it passes through.
How does water at the foundation affect my home? Wet crawl spaces reduce the value of the house--at least by the amount that would be required to repair the damage and to eliminate the cause of the problem. Some homeowners are reluctant to discuss or admit their water problem, for fear that the publicity of an actual or even a perceived problem would reduce the value of their investment.
Information in this sheet was excerpted from Wet Basement and Crawl Space Problems, Causes, and Remedies by Dr. Bruce A. Tschantz, P.E.; Professor of Civil Engineering University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN 37996 September 1997.