Today, we’re going to talk about something that nobody wants to think about. What to do if you discover sewage in your crawl space. It’s actually a more common problem than you think. There are two main causes of sewage damage in your crawl space: sewage backups, and broken or leaking pipes.
Where Does the Sewage in My Crawl Space Come From?
Luckily, with most backups, people are aware of the problem. It usually happens in a bathroom on the ground floor. From there, the sewage makes its way down into the crawlspace. In this case, you can usually see and smell the problem right away. So getting it remediated right away is a no-brainer.
Unfortunately, the most common issue can go hidden for a long time before someone notices. A pipe break or a leak in the crawl space can go unnoticed, sometimes for years. And, while the smell can be pretty bad, it builds up so slowly that a lot of homeowners don’t even notice the issue until someone finally mentions to them that their house doesn’t smell very fresh. Either way, if you’re in the East Central Indiana area (Muncie, New Castle, Anderson and surrounding areas), we have options to get your home healthy and safe again.
How Can We Fix It?
There are two main ways to deal with sewage damage in the crawl space. The old-fashioned way is to send a team of guys down with shovels to dig up all the wet and affected soil. They can bag it up, or haul it out to a dumpster, and then send it away. Fresh dirt and gravel is then brought back in, spread out, and a typical vapor barrier is installed.
The other option is our preferred method, encapsulate it. In this instance, we would go down and remove any standing water and gross filth. We would then perform an encapsulation, like we’ve done in countless other homes in the area. We would first install our durable drainage mat, which keeps water from getting to the plastic, tape the seams, and then cover with our 90-mil thick crawl space encapsulation plastic. This process has been proven to keep the sewage and the odors trapped under the plastic until it can naturally decompose, and return to normal soil. In both methods, we would finish with an antimicrobial application over the floor joists, subfloor, pipes, wires, and duct work through the crawl space.