If you have a basement, water will always seek the lowest point and move in to fill empty pockets. This is where an interior drain comes in handy. It stops water from building momentum and overflowing into the interior of the basement, thereby keeping it dry.
Comprising a pipe set in a trench along the perimeter of your basement slab, the interior drain creates a sunken channel that allows water to drain out and flow along a definite path. When this component clogs, it can compromise the basement leading to water damage. Routine care and maintenance is the only way to ensure it remains functional especially during rainy weather.
Signs of a Clogged Interior Drain
You don’t need to second guess whether your interior drain has issues. A lot of the problems will manifest clearly. The easiest way to tell if your drainage isn’t functioning properly is to check the lawn or the basement. If you notice any water, chances are there’s something blocking the drain, and that’s why it’s not draining fast.
When inspecting a dysfunctional interior drain but aren’t sure of the signs, look out for these issues:
- Cracks on the basement wall
- Higher humidity levels (over 55%)
- Water infiltration to the basement
- Appearance of whitish crystals
- Slumped or curved floor
- Sticking doors and windows
Common Interior Drain Problems
Water that seeps through the soil to your interior drain often carries sediments and can dump it into the drain. Sediments buildup gradually over time, slowing water as it flows through the ditch. Ultimately, it may block the drain. When this happens, water ceases to pass through the drain, causing the basement to flood.
If your interior drain is connected to a sump pump but it’s not draining, the problem could be a defective sump pump and not the drain. Chances are silt or soil has clogged the discharge line, and that’s why it’s not ejecting water. Ask your local plumber or contractor who installed the drain and/or sump pump to come and inspect the outlet of the discharge pipe. They will unplug the discharge pipe and detach the sump basin lid then remove soil from the mechanical parts.
As your house grows old, it may settle. This is a common problem in homes built near water or in wet climates. When soil shifts, it can cause the drainage to block, making it less efficient in moving out water. When carrying out repairs or maintenance, ask your contractor to suggest the right materials based on its age or your climate.
Interior Drain Maintenance
Routine checkups and maintenance will ensure your interior drain keeps working as it should to collect water and direct it to the sump pump system. You want to be sure it’s free of debris or anything that reduces its effectiveness. To prevent clogging, clean out and snake your drainage at least once a year. You’ll need a tough pair of gloves for this job to protect your hands as you feed the cable into your drain.
Here are the steps to snake and clean an interior drain:
1) Remove the drain’s lid or entry point.
2) Turn the snake on the cable into the drain. If the cable hits an obstruction or gets to a bend, hold it back until the snake turns in the pipe.
3) Once you’re sure it’s past the turn or obstruction, continue feeding it forward gently until it reaches the other side. Leave the snake to turn inside when it bumps into clogs and other obstacles.
4) Retract the snake and feed it right back into the device.
5) Spray water into the interior drain to push out debris or other obstacles.
If you don’t feel comfortable undertaking the cleaning, you can reach out to your local basement waterproofing experts who will be able to evaluate the drain and assist with any needed repairs. If you have an interior drainage system like BasementGutter™ protecting your home, our professionals can easily access the sub-floor system through various inspection ports on the top of the floor.
Taking care of your interior drainage system can prevent simple maintenance turning into costly repairs. The best time to install a drain is before winter sets in. Afterward, snow will begin to melt and winter will give way to spring when rains are plentiful.Whether it redirects water to a sump pump or a septic tank, a clean and healthy drainage system helps keep your basement dry and prevents potential water damage. For a fast and hassle-free interior drain maintenance or repairs in St. Louis and Kansas City, schedule a free basement inspection with us. We can help you clean and unclog your blocked drainage system so water can flow freely.