We got a question from Chuck down in Georgia, and he was wanting to know if can he use his natural trench, dirt trench that's in the crawl space to direct water to a sump pump, and he had a couple of other questions too.
Natural Trench In Crawl Space
Okay Chuck, we see that all the time. Especially houses built in the '60s and the '70s, and even into the '80s. They would create what looks like a natural trench around the footer, around the perimeter of the foundation wall. I guess back in the day they used to actually pour termite chemicals in those trenches, so they would bring the plastic up to the trench, leave the bare dirt, and then put termite treatment around there. Well, they found that that wasn't a good thing to do, I guess, to put termite treatment underneath your crawl space, because then you breathe all the chemicals in. A lot of times even today, builders still do that. It's basically that they haven't back-filled that area.
Do You Need A Crawl Space Drain System?
So you've got a natural little trench right around your footer. Water's coming in, and then you want to know, is it a good idea to let that water travel to the sump pump. There's nothing wrong with that necessarily, except that of course, natural erosion could pick up dirt and shoot it toward your sump pump.
You may not have this problem, but the only thing I would be concerned about in the future is that that sump pump pit could start to take on a lot of mud, especially during heavy, heavy rains, and that mud would clog the sump pump. That would be my only concern.
Best Crawl Space Drain Pipe
What we typically do is put in a perforated pipe with aggregate and a sock around it in order to keep mud out of the pipe. That way the water is as clean as it can possibly be as it goes towards the sump pump.
The other question you had was, do we recommend Loose Lock. Loose Lock a term given to what is essentially packing peanuts. We've tried it, I'll be honest with you. We've tried it in a crawl space or two, and we have never been able to keep that loose lock from floating no matter what we do.
I hate to say it, but it sounds like using a natural aggregate inside of a sock is the best way to go, like the EZ-Flow pipe that you can get a Home Depot or Lowe's. Some contractors will just put gravel around the pipe without a sock. We don't think that's a good idea because there are some tiny particles of mud and dirt that can still make its way into that pipe, and gravel alone typically isn't enough to stop all that from happening.
If you're going to put in a pipe system like the EZ-Flow or even just a 4 inch perforated corrugated pipe, make sure it has a sock around it in order to keep that mud out of your sump pump.