Crawlspace floods due to tides?

Question for any inspectors doing work in close proximity to the ocean; I Inspected a home yesterday, approx. 500 yards from the ocean and discovered a large flood in the crawlspace.

When I opened the crawlspace hatch there was 4 inches of water on the floor. I had the buyers agent take a look and she called the listing agent to make them aware. The listing agent (on speaker phone) proceeds to say “oh that is normal; there was a king tide and it can cause water to flow into the crawlspace. It will go away in a couple of hours” Sure enough 1.5 hours later the water had drained out, leaving a wet floor in the crawl. I declined to enter the space due to the water issue and not knowing if there could be electrical hazards present. Obviously it’s not acceptable to have any moisture ingress of this volume enter the crawlspace, but I’m curious if any of you have run into this scenario before, and how did you report it? I’ve commented in the report that there is a serious water ingress issue that requires further inspection by a engineer or foundation specialist. Any thoughts or feedback is appreciated!

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Report what you see and hear and let your client decide.

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Steven, I know that there are some areas where this is a common occurrence and the crawl spaces are designed with flood vents that allow the water to pass out of the space as the water resides. Maybe this is the case? And if so, I would still have concerns about excessive moisture.

Google “Crawl Space Flood Vents and when to use.” That might help answer some questions whether this may be a similar situation.

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So it was listed in the disclosure then? :roll_eyes: :rofl:

Actually they did disclose moisture…just not the epic scale!

None of that would go over in my book. There’s no need in flooding in a crawl space. The grading is improper or something. I don’t care if it is a king tide. I’ve inspected along the gulf and Atlantic for years after hurricanes. Again there’s no reason for the flooding. Improper elevation or improper grading.
I’d write that up big time.
Foundations in areas that flood. Should be properly equipped with scuppers if I can use that word to allow the water to leave as the tide goes out. Trust me that is screwed up the image you showed.
I would never consider buying that place.
That right there is totally ridiculous.

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High tide does not equal “flooded foundation”.

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I think I understand what you’re saying Dominic, but cannot a “King Tide” or high tide attribute to a flooded foundation? Just learning here on my end. Don’t have to worry about them here in the mountains…

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Sure, so can a tropical storm or storm surge. It means the design or construction was insufficient for the lot.

Keep in mind, tides are a “known quantity” and structures have to be designed for the forces of nature that will act on them. King tide flooding is becoming harder to deal with lately.

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Wow! I couldn’t have said that better brother.
Really! You’re good.
And always have been a great contributor in my book.
I should have nominated you for inspector of the year.
Why didn’t I don’t know. Guess I’m getting old

Thanks! Makes more sense now. Now just another question. Based on the OP’s pictures, it appears that the CS has a poured slab flooring with CMU block walls. I have never seen this on a crawl space so would this be common in areas that may be prone to flooding, or just common in certain regions?

Note: The slab and CMU is common on basements in this area but not on crawl spaces.

Here on the Maine coast, we have flow through foundations there are openings at the front and rear of the foundation and they are filed in with breakaway panels for storm surges.

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Thanks Scott! I think that’s what I was trying to get answers for.

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It called flood scuppers.
They’re usually located at the bottom of the foundation wall. The water is going to come in. But it allows it to go out.

I am talking 6 foot wide gaps in the foundation not little scuppers. The gaps are filled in with breakaway panels so the storm surge doe’s not wash out the foundation.
images

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Flood vents/ports.

Yep we don’t call them that
but that’s what they are

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Exactly…

What the hell is that Scott Stonehenge?

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Wow, that’s different.

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