Have you ever experienced going into your crawl space to fix a pipe only to find it extremely wet? On top of that, there’s mold and mildew growth everywhere!
We understand the hassle, and by now, you’re probably thinking of how to solve this moisture problem.
If you’re asking: do I need a French drain in my crawl space? The short answer is yes, especially if you live in an area that often experiences heavy rainfall and high humidity.
Stick around to learn more about the benefits of having a French drain in your crawl space.
Well, you can install a French drain at any time you like. However, it’s best to install one if you’re experiencing any of these problems:
If your crawl space has dirt flooring, it’ll face soil erosion if it constantly experiences heavy rainfall.
During erosion, the topsoil gets removed. It only leaves the sandy particles behind, which doesn’t retain moisture well.
On top of that, sandy soil tends to get washed away and carried off in the wind. As a result, it destabilizes your home’s foundation.
So, a French drain helps in erosion because it allows the rainfall to seep into the trench without disturbing the topsoil.
Water sitting in your crawl space can go undetected for long periods because it’s a place you rarely visit.
The thing is, stagnant water in your crawl space can weaken your home’s foundation. If you have slab beams, they’ll start deteriorating.
There’s a chance that the foundation can no longer support the weight of the whole structure as well. It can result in cracks, jamming doors, and even sinking floors.
Luckily, a French drain prevents this from happening. It collects the water that enters your crawl space and drains it in another area, away from your home, through its pipes.
A moist crawl space invites all kinds of pests, such as termites, mosquitoes, bedbugs, and cockroaches.
If left untreated for an extended period, these pests can severely damage your home.
For starters, they tend to eat wood, causing your crawl space’s wood slabs to buckle or develop blisters. As a result, it weakens your home’s foundation.
Plus, termites will hollow out all the wood in your home, causing it to become brittle.
Installing a French drain will prevent pests from infesting your house because it redirects the water away from your home.
When you have water sitting in your crawl space, it can develop a musty odor over time. As it evaporates, the foul smell can seep into your house.
The water develops a foul odor due to anaerobic fermentation. The lack of oxygen in the stagnant weather produces a dense gas that gets stuck in your crawl space.
Strong and rancid odors can trigger asthma symptoms and other respiratory problems. So, it’s necessary to remove the stagnant water to prevent health issues from occurring.
Of course, a French drain will help in this situation because its perforated pipe carries the water away from your home.
Aside from pests, moisture also boosts mold and mildew growth. The thing is, these spores reproduce quickly, so they’re more challenging to get rid of.
Moreover, mold causes wood rot. Once it slips into the slab, it spreads fast.
It then causes the material to shrink, turn into a nasty brown color, and weaken the whole structure.
As such, if it latches on your home’s wood foundation, it’ll destroy it, causing severe structural damage.
Moreover, mold can cause allergic symptoms in people exposed to it. Individuals often experience sneezing, watery eyes, headache, fatigue, and difficulty breathing.
That said, a French drain acts as a moisture control because it prevents your crawl space from collecting water.
Most moisture control methods require the use of electricity. For example, if you want to lower the humidity in your crawl space, install a dehumidifier or a fan.
However, a French drain doesn’t need electricity at all! A properly designed and installed French drain will simply use its perforated pipe to transfer the water away from your home.
Technically, you can install a French drain independently if you have the appropriate permits.
Since it’s a large project, you have to secure permits, so contacting a professional is vital. You might also need their help to ensure you won’t accidentally interfere with utility or gas lines.
You just have to dig the area and line it with landscaping fabric to prevent weeds and roots from clogging the pipe.
However, once you’ve installed the French drain, they’ll usually last a few years. It only wears out when the perforated pipes get clogged with soil.
So, if you’re still asking yourself: do I need a French drain in my crawl space? You shouldn’t hesitate to install one!
After all, the French drain will help solve your moisture and mold problems. It’s also a preventive measure because the tool will prevent your home’s structural foundations from becoming weak.
On top of that, they’re easy to install and will last for a couple of years too!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.