Far too many people in Raleigh, NC, believe their basement waterproofing systems are maintenance-free. Once they install them, they quickly forget about these systems and turn their focus to other things. It’s only after a few years or months that they realize there’s something wrong. And all signs point back to the very thing they ignored, and that is their interior drainage system.
Part of the reason the interior drainage system develops problems is that it has many interdependent components. If any of it fails or is defective, then the whole system won’t function properly. Designing and installing the system properly isn’t enough to keep it trouble-free. Proper care and maintenance contribute to an effective system.
Signs of Interior Drainage Problems
Your drainage system should move water freely and quickly at all times. If it fails to do so, it means there’s a problem. Look out for these signs that accompany drainage system failures:
- Wet floor cracks
- Mineral deposits or iron ochre on sump crock
- Unusual levels of moisture
- Damp wall blocks near the floor
- Slumped or curved basement floor
- Water pools on the floor
- Lingering stench
Common Problems with Interior Drainage
Undersized sump pump — Your drainage system works by capturing water and directing it to the sump pump, where it’s ejected. You may have a sump pump, but it’s likely not properly sized to handle the extra volume of water. So, it’s going to work extra harder. Upsizing it will ensure water doesn’t pool and your basement doesn’t flood during a storm.
Foundation Instability — Drain tiles are supposed to sit in a dirt or gravel trench close to the footing. In some homes, the footing or dirt is missing. Make sure the installer has enough experience to keep your drainage system from compromising the stability of your foundation walls.
Inferior cove molding — Another problem that tends to arise with drain installation is flimsy cove molding. It’s a crucial component as it directs water from the walls of your basement to the drain tile under the floor. If it’s missing, your basement will get wet. And if it’s inferior, it will crack or tear, opening the basement floor to water.
Obstructions — Tree roots, scum, dirt and debris are the most likely culprits. Have a local professional like the contractor who installed the system come and inspect the drainage. They’re likely to snake the drainage system to clear the blockage. If it’s a tree, some excavations may be done in order to fix the problem.
Soil settlement — When the foundation shifts, the slab floor will also move, and this will push down the drainage system or alter its path. The result is that water won’t be able to flow freely again.
Misleading warranties — When spring and summertime come, so do the rains. This surge will force your drainage system to work harder. Only a premium system can consistently perform without failing. However, some homeowners fall for cheaper systems, believing their warranties will last a lifetime. When shopping around, always get a system that has a genuine warranty.
Poor project planning — Pre-installation walkthrough is essential when laying out the drainage system. Failure to do so means you’re going to scramble to find someone to tear down the drywall, paneling, shelving, plumbing and obstacles along the proposed drain tile path.
Is Maintenance Really Necessary?
Yes, it is. But most people don’t take it seriously. Once you’ve installed your system, you can relax thinking all is well. The truth is not all drainage systems will work smoothly without maintenance. Yours could clog or fail at any time. You can avoid headaches and unnecessary hassles by signing up for an annual maintenance plan.
Regular maintenance ensures no debris gets into the drainage system. And even if it enters, they don’t remain stuck. Regular cleaning and snaking avert problems that would otherwise be time-consuming or expensive to fix.
Stuck dirt, debris, and mold will develop a stench that will fill up the basement. Depending on the location of the blockage, it could trap water and amplify the stench. A good wash-down will not only dislodge foreign materials but also remove the grime and debris that fills your room with odors.
When dirt or debris builds up inside the drainage system, water will flow back to your basement. Cleaning prevents potential backflow of water into your basement floor.
Need Help Fixing Your Interior Drainage?
Several things could end up in your basement drainage and block it. Dirt, scum, and grease are likely candidates. In some cases, dirt on drain covers and tree roots that snake their way through cracks and enter the pipe are to blame.
To avoid the hassle and headaches that come with drainage system failures in Raleigh, NC, schedule a free waterproofing inspection with one of our experts. They will assess your system and tell you what needs to be done.