Knoxville, Tennessee along with the rest of East TN, receives an average of 48 inches of rain annually according to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office located in Morristown, TN. This has created a problem in many of the basements and crawl spaces in the area.

Why is My Crawl Space Flooding?

Many home owners that purchased there homes several years ago, during a drought, are now seeing what can happen if the foundation drains located around crawl space and basements start to fail from all the rain fall. Some foundation drainage systems were installed incorrectly or over the years have become crushed which causes water to seep into basements and crawl spaces.

Crawl Space French Drains

Trenching the interior of a crawl space or basement may be a good idea if:

  1. Your crawl space floods after medium to heavy rains
  2. Exterior waterproofing is not an option
  3. Flooding is leading to high humidity
  4. Musty smells are getting worse
  5. Neighbors homes are dumping water on your property
  6. Home is near a pond, lake or river
  7. Keeping downspouts and gutters cleared has failed to keep out the water
  8. Home is located in a low lying subdivision
  9. Soil won't perc properly

Clean Gutters and Downspouts

Before addressing the crawl space or basement waterproofing, it is a good idea address clogged gutters and improperly placed downspouts immediately. Gutter guards are sometimes effective at keeping gutters clean but installing them is no excuse for not checking them on a regular basis to ensure they are working properly. We encourage you to NOT direct downspouts at the neighbors property but to run them to the street if possible. There are many factors that can cause water to intrude the crawl space or basement so sometimes a visual inspection during a rain storm is necessary to determine the best course of action.

Sump Pumps in a Dry Crawl Space

Have you ever been the victim of a flood? If you have ever filed an insurance claim because your home flooded then what I am about to say will make sense. We encourage unfinished basements and crawl spaces to be equipped with a sump pump in the event of a water damage restoration or potential flood. Trenching the crawl space or basement may not always be necessary. Keep in mind a sump pump strategically placed in the basement or crawl space is very useful in removing water in the event a home experiences a pipe burst or other flooding. Many crawl space encapsulation systems being installed today  can become swimming pools if a leak from above occurs and the water becomes trapped. A sump pump will move the water out as it begins to flood the crawl space or basement and can minimize damage significantly.

Please contact us if you have any questions about whether your home may need a sump pump.

About Michael Church

Michael Church has been involved with indoor air quality since 2005 and feels the unhealthy crawl space is one of the major problems causing poor indoor air quality.


  1. […] bowing walls and other foundation problems. Eliminating the water pressure eliminates the risk of a flooded basement or crawl […]

  2. […] I've seen instances where you've got enough hydrostatic pressure on the wall to ding on the home inspection report, but there's no standing water. So most crawl space companies, if they see hydrostatic pressure on the wall, they're going to say, "Oh. Well, you need a trench and a sump pump." "I don't have any standing water. Why do I need a trench and a sump pump?" […]

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