Fun With Water

No, this is not a Foster City house…but it easily could be. In some cases this is really a small amount of water too. It really seems to me that well over 50% of the houses in FC have water related drainage issues. It’s really common. It also seems to me that every house I’ve had clients interested in have had this issue in their disclosures. What’s really remarkable to me is the degree of denial folks in FC have about the water under their house.

I was recently in a gorgeous FC house where everything was upgraded and remodeled meticulously and it sure seemed that the seller was proactive about just about everything. The house had a foundation issue which was fixed prior to listing the house. The issues was the typical rust in rebar thing plus damage to the concrete piers that required replacement. I asked the seller if he had any water related recurring issues…”yes, he said. We used to have a sump pump down there but it broke and we never got around to fixing it”. OK, but most likely it was the water intrusion that caused the foundation and pier problem. In another house the water intrusion was typically so deep that there was dry rot on the floor joists and pier posts.

The truth is, the sump pump is really a band aid. It removes the water from under the house (a good thing) but the water is getting under there. The optimum fix is a french drain or system that prevents the water from getting down there in the first place. Of course, that’s not a cheap fix. The sump is alot cheaper. No matter what, leaving standing water under the house is an invitation to dry rot, mold and foundation problems.

Here’s an interesting link on this subject:


  1. Hi Jim, great article as always. Do you have anyone you would recommend for doing this type of work?

  2. What are the average costs for a french drain system?

  3. Hi Jim, do you have any recommendations on contractors for this type of work?


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