Thursday, June 12, 2008

Leaks and crawlspaces are not friends

So last week prior to the Indiana Flood of 08, Tuesday to be exact, we discovered that we had a leak in our pipes that had left the crawlspace with standing water underneath about 1/2 of the house. The leak occurred in the line that runs to our outside spickets, of course the only plumbing we did not redo prior to moving into the house. The good thing is that we have a turn-off valve for the outside spickets only, meaning we didn't have to turn off the main and could still have access to water inside of the house. Adam and I tag-teamed the mess and he went to pick up a little pump from Sunbelt rentals, while I went to Home Depot and grabbed 2 of the industrial fans (the ones they use to dry carpets and stuff after water damage). The little pump connected to our garden hose and the water got pumped out pretty quickly then we ran the fans all night. We thought we were in pretty good shape but knew we had a lot of rain that night. We looked outside to find this in our front yard the next morning:

We obviously had some drainage issue and the water at its highest point was probably 20 feet into our yard and several inches deep. Well Adam made like a mole and headed back to our crawlspace hoping to find it fairly dry, the look of dismay when he returned inside did not indicate that we had a dry crawlspace. This time it wasn't a leak it was just too much water and not enough drainage to get it away from the house. The drainage in the front of our house obviously runs to our drainage ditch, which was flooded, so it didn't have anywhere to go, I assume we live in a high water table area (close to the river), and it just would not stop raining; thus our crawlspace still had standing water. We used the little rented pump again and then decided this was not something we wanted to have happen anymore so we headed to Lowes to purchase a sump pump. That night as I headed to House Church, Adam sat in our crawlspace with a midget sized shovel and dug a hole about 2 feet deep and about 18 inches wide in the dirt (or mud might be the more appropriate term) and then put in the sump pump. This was making us feel better until our 1st one broke after 5 days and Adam returned it for an upgrade. I think SP #2 is doing ok, but we still need to put in permanent piping to get it out of the crawlspace and into our yard drainage, but the temporary stuff will work for now. We did discover one good thing; there is a drainage pipe in our yard that takes our rainwater across the street and down a hill to a pond. This had gotten covered up due to the house being unoccupied for a time and the storm so we were wondering where the heck our water was supposed to go. Once Adam cleaned it off and pulled some sticks and leaves away the water in our front yard started draining a whole lot faster.

Lessons learned - 1.) When buying an unoccupied 50 year old house replumb the outside spickets even if you might not use them right away. 2.) When buying any home with a crawlspace make sure there is a working sump pump, Indiana is a very wet state.

In the end we were feeling pretty blessed that this is all that happened to us considering that just 3 days later we got a call from Adam's mom that his cousin was being evacuated from his home due to flooding and she couldn't leave her house because none of the roads surrounding them were passable. Our hearts and prayers are with everyone that suffered and are suffering from the flood and especially family and friends in Martinsville.


VerWaynia said...

Oh man! Our backyard flooded, prob about the same 20 ft in from the fence...the new fence that was sitting in water - awesome!

We'll have to talk to Adam about that drain thing!

Kathy said...

oh no!

E. Park said...

Time to get Adam some scuba gear!!