In 1960, the builder poured a 6 foot foundation to build my parents' home. He then decided to lengthen the home by adding a 4 foot foundation to extend the living room and kitchen area (now under a 4 foot sand crawl space). He left an opening the size of a window between the cellar foundation and the added 4 foot foundation. One can use a step ladder and step on the platform and look at the sand and mud where this added foundation lies.

Then the builder attached a garage to that extension which sits on a slab. Now we are getting water seeping into the bottom of the 4 foot foundation at the back of the house situated next to the garage. The area (crawl space) has mud puddles when it rains and some of this water flows down onto the cellar floor. The gutter in the back has long extensions to draw off the water; the gutters seem to not leak; a new cement walkway replaced a cement cracked walkway in this area of the back of the house. I also noticed a stream of water traveling down the perimeter of the cement walkway on the side of the garage which is the side of the house.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Would you add a picture or a diagram of the situation? What kind of soil do you have, and where are you located? And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 16:06
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    What's the question, exactly? This is a rather vague scenario, since factors such as roof design, exterior grade, landscaping, and the possibility of excavation are unknown. You really want to do some reading on below-grade water management and bring in an expert if needed. We aren't going to be able to offer anything beyond general suggestions.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 16:09
  • Usually with large crawl spaces the houses are on on sloped ground, any answers with knowledge of this would need to cover every possibility. So please update the question with a actual question and provide a photo of the property or a description and we may be able to provide specific recommendations to help..
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 20:52
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    Do you have any idea how the water is getting into the 4' crawl space? Is it coming in through an opening or crack in the foundation? Or is it being forced down, under, and back up the foundation & footer by hydraulic pressure from water on the outside ground?
    – SteveSh
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


Water infiltration can com from surface water or sub-surface water.

Surface water is easier to detect and fix. If you have added onto the length of the house, perhaps the surface water cannot run around the end anymore. That water could puddle and seep into the ground and then eventually seep into the crawl space.

Subsurface water is harder to locate and eliminate. If the ground is so saturated that it can’t flow away from the house, it will flow in the direction of least resistance, which could be into the crawl space...especially if the ground has been disturbed for the new addition. (Water will flow through the disturbed soil before it will flow through the older original excavation.)

The only way to fix subsurface water problems is to install a perforated drainline in drainrock down below your crawl space and extend the drainline to a location where it can discharge or where you can collect it and then pump it out.

  • Well sometimes, if it's a point source of high water (like a window or entry hole well), you can put a small pump in the offending well. Depending on the amount of water making it in, an aquarium or pond pump might be all that's needed.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 22:50

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