Who to Call When You Find Water in Your Home’s Basement or Crawl Space

Becca Stokes
Written by Becca Stokes
Updated December 21, 2021
A gray corner sofa in a house’s basement
Photo: vania_zhukevych / Adobe Stock

A plumber is a good starting place 

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When you notice water collecting in your home’s basement or crawl space, you need help right away. But who are you supposed to call when you’re facing a problem like this? A plumber can handle most leaks, but if your foundation is the issue, you’ll need to call a structural engineer as well. Let’s break down how it all works. 

Benefits of Hiring a Plumber to Remove Water in Your Basement or Crawl Space

If the water in your basement is visibly caused by a leaking pipe and you catch the problem the first time it happens, you should call a plumber in your area. The plumber arrives, verifies what you suspect, repairs the leak in your basement, and finally, you clean up any mess.

Calling a plumber to handle water in your basement or crawl space has the following benefits: 

  • Plumbers are highly experienced at handling leaks, both major and minor

  • You can often call an emergency plumber who will respond within hours

  • Plumbers can usually implement a quick fix to prevent more leakage or damage—even if a structural engineer is needed

  • Plumbers can often refer you to a water remediation company or structural engineer if necessary

Water Remediation Team 

If you have extensive standing water or water damage, you may consider hiring a water remediation team in addition to a plumber. 

Water remediation teams don’t usually make the repairs to the problem causing water to collect in your home. These teams give your home a thorough inspection, remove any standing water, clean and sanitize the flooded basement, and get your home looking and feeling like it did before the damage occurred. 

Can I DIY Water Removal in My Basement or Crawl Space? 

You can, in theory, fix the problem of water in your basement or crawl space yourself. That said, it’s a time-intensive project and not one without risks. Water in these spaces can lead to mildew and mold, and, in extreme cases, serious structural damage to the home’s foundation caused by water exposure. 

If you are immuno-compromised or a beginner when it comes to DIY home repairs, we suggest you contact pros to tackle the problem of water in your basement.

Can I Hire a Contractor or Structural Engineer if There’s Water in My Basement or Crawl Space?

Crawl space of a house insulated
Photo: Grandbrothers / Adobe Stock

Your first step when dealing with water in your basement or crawl space is identifying who you need to call. Let’s talk a bit more about different options presented to homeowners. 


If you don’t know where the problem is coming from, call in a contractor. Is there a weird bubble on the ceiling of your crawl space that’s nowhere near any pipes? A contractor will be able to identify the problem. 

Structural Engineer

Structural engineers get involved when the problem causing the water to leak into your home is serious enough that it might damage the foundation. A plumber can fix a leak, but they cannot tell you if there are foundational cracks that could lead to serious structural damage. 

However, you’ll still need to contact a plumber, contractor, and/or water remediation team in addition to a structural engineer. 

How Do Contractors and Plumbers Address Water in Your Home’s Basement or Crawl Space?

Depending on the cause of the excess water, your contractor or plumber may take one of several tactics. 

Here are a few common ways they address water in a basement or crawl space:

  1. Add a sump pump to move standing water out and away from the home’s foundation.

  2. Replace damaged or leaking pipes if they’re causing the issue. 

  3. Change the slope of your yard or otherwise change the landscaping so that water moves away from it with greater ease.

  4. Repair cracks in the foundation of your home.

  5. Repair downspouts that may be directing rainwater too close to your home’s foundation.

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