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THBS installing interior drainage system

What Are the Problems Associated with an Interior Drainage System?

No matter how efficient your drainage system looks, there comes a time when maintenance is necessary, otherwise, it may cause problems that may prove costly to fix.

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Many homeowners mistakenly assume that their basement waterproofing systems are self-sustaining. Following installation, attention often shifts away from these crucial systems, only to be drawn back when issues emerge after a certain period. It’s typically then that the spotlight falls back on what was neglected – the interior drainage system in their basement.

A significant cause of these issues is the intricate nature of the interior drainage system. It’s composed of numerous interconnected elements, and the malfunctioning or defectiveness of even one part can lead to the overall system’s ineffectiveness. Although careful design and correct installation are important, they alone are not sufficient to ensure a trouble-free system. Regular maintenance and diligent care are essential in keeping the system functioning optimally.

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:

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  • 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
  • Puddles of water on the floor
  • A lingering stench

Common Problems with Interior Drainage

Insufficient Sump Pump Size — Your drainage system is designed to capture water and direct it to the sump pump for removal. Even if you have a sump pump, it might not be adequately sized to handle a larger volume of water, which means it will have to work harder. By choosing a larger model, you can prevent water from pooling and protect your basement from flooding during heavy rains.

Foundation Stability Issues — Drain tiles are intended to rest in a dirt or gravel trench near the building’s footing. However, in some residences, the footing or dirt layer may be absent. It’s important to choose an installer with sufficient experience to prevent the drainage system from undermining the stability of your foundation walls.

Poor Quality Cove Molding — Another frequent issue with drainage installations involves subpar cove molding. This is an essential component, as it funnels water from the basement walls to the drain tile beneath the floor. If it’s absent, your basement may become damp. Moreover, if it’s of low quality, it can crack or tear, exposing your basement floor to potential water damage.

Blockages — Obstructions like tree roots, sludge, dirt, and debris are common culprits. It’s advisable to have a local professional, such as the contractor who installed your system, inspect your drainage. They’ll likely use a drain snake to clear any blockage. If a tree root is the cause, some excavation may be necessary to rectify the issue.

Soil Settlement — If the foundation of your home shifts, it will also cause movement in the slab floor, which could negatively impact the drainage system by pushing it down or changing its course. This disruption means water may no longer be able to flow freely as intended.

Misleading Warranties — The arrival of spring and summer brings increased rainfall, which puts more demand on your drainage system. Only high-quality systems can continually operate without breaking down under such pressure. However, some homeowners may opt for cheaper systems, misled by the promise of lifetime warranties. It’s essential to choose a system with a reliable and trustworthy warranty when comparing options.

Inadequate Project Planning — Performing a thorough pre-installation walkthrough is vital in the planning stages of a drainage system. Failing to do this can lead to hurried efforts to remove obstacles such as drywall, paneling, shelving, and plumbing along the proposed drain tile path. So, ensure this step is not overlooked in your project plan.

The Importance of Maintaining Your Interior Basement Drainage System

Indeed, maintaining your interior basement drainage system is not just a suggestion, but a necessity. Yet, many individuals underestimate its importance. Following the installation of such a system, it’s easy to adopt a mindset of complacency. Your system could become clogged or malfunction unexpectedly, leading to unwelcome problems. One way to sidestep these potential hurdles is by subscribing to an annual maintenance plan.

Consistent maintenance prevents debris from blocking your drainage system. Even if some debris manages to infiltrate the system, routine cleanings ensure it doesn’t remain lodged. Regularly cleaning and snaking the system help avoid complications that could become tedious or costly to rectify later.

Trapped dirt, debris, and mold can cause a foul smell that permeates your basement. Depending on where the blockage is, it could trap water and exacerbate the unpleasant odor. Thorough cleaning not only dislodges any foreign materials but also eliminates the grime and debris causing unpleasant odors in your basement.

An accumulation of dirt or debris within the drainage system could cause water to flow back into your basement. Regular cleaning acts as a preventive measure against this potential backflow, thereby safeguarding your basement floor from unwanted water accumulation.

Need Help Fixing Your Interior Drainage?

A variety of elements could find their way into your basement drainage system and cause a blockage. Dirt, sludge, and grease are often the usual suspects. Sometimes, the issue might be due to dirt accumulating on drain covers or tree roots that have managed to infiltrate the pipe through cracks.

To prevent the stress and inconvenience associated with drainage system malfunctions, schedule a complimentary waterproofing inspection with a member of our team at Tar Heel Basement Systems. Our experts will thoroughly assess your system and provide comprehensive advice on any necessary steps for improvement.

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