You know what can be a real drain? A drain on your finances, your energy, your time and your pride in your home? Drainage issues. The good news is that, caught and fixed early, drainage problems needn’t suck you dry. Not only can Urban Water Works help you with your Vancouver drainage issues – big or small – we are here to give you a few top tips on how to catch any drainage issues early.
Prevention is better than cure
Finding drainage problems when they’re just beginning and still small enough for a quick and easy fix can save you from headaches – and thousands of dollars down the drain – later on. You know what’s even better than finding drainage problems early though? Preventing them altogether.
Start your war against potential drainage issues in your beautiful Vancouver home by exploring options for regular maintenance and checks for clogs, blockages, leaks and other possible drainage problems. This may include services like an annual to semi-annual Video Inspection of your drainage systems, including perimeter drainage and sewer lines, along with a regular flushing program, to ensure that all your drains and pipes are in great shape.
Even with modern advances in building materials (such as PVC piping), overall drainage systems and better building codes, the fact is that drainage systems still need to be regularly inspected. They are a common source of homeownership headaches for the simple reason that they are one of the most used systems in your home. Simple wear and tear is unavoidable, but catching it before it becomes a big issue can make all the difference.
Spot the signs (of bad drainage)
The next best thing to preventing drainage issues from even happening is spotting the signs early on.
You don’t have to be an expert in geophysics and/or plumbing to know that basement puddle jumping, backyard turned bog, or front lawn turned lake are signs of drainage problems. But more often that not, drainage issues lurk beneath the surface, out of sight, out of mind. There are signs though. Read them, or weep!
1. Sounds from the deep
Do you hear gurgling noises every time you empty a sink or tub – a process which in addition seems to be taking an increasingly long time? Can you hear the sound of running water, even when your taps are turned off? When it comes to sleep and anxiety apps, these sounds can be soothing. Delightful even. But in relation to your drains? Not so much.
One of the most common drainage issues, a clogged drain that originates in your sink, tub, or toilet, is most often caused by the slow but relentless buildup of foreign materials (hairballs… gag!), grease, food debris and other foreign materials that become trapped in the pipes, creating an ever smaller opening for water to travel through. If you notice the sounds of non-silence, or slow drainage, in your sinks, get them sorted sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the bigger the problem, the more expensive the bill.
2. In the gutter
The most obvious sign that you’ve got drainage issues in your gutters is the sight of a mini waterfall where no waterfall should be. The issue? You’ve likely got dead leaves and other debris blocking the flow or your gutters were installed at an improper pitch. Less obvious signs of overflowing gutters not caught in the act of gushing include paint peeling off your house in vertical strips, mud splatters on your siding or streaks of dirt on the gutters themselves.
Dodgy gutters are a bigger problem than just being unsightly though: gutters that don’t drain how they were intended to can ruin your perfect paint job, rot siding, or even worse: cause structural damage by seeping right into your foundations and basement.
3. Water stains on walls
There are two kinds of water stains to watch out for in your basement on foundation walls:
- Those that appear higher up on the walls, which reveal that water is coming from an overflowing gutter (see above), or that surface runoff is heading back towards your house, rather than away from it.
- Water stains that appear from the ground up, creeping inexorably upwards, which indicate that your basement floor may lie below the level of municipal drains or are a sign of a fluctuating water table.
4. Foundation cracks
While it’s quite normal for small cracks to appear over time as the earth shifts and your house settles and resettles, some cracks – the kind that keep growing and growing – are a sign of something less ordinary. Something that could be related to dodgy draining.
Cracks that continue to widen, and widen, and then widen some more, may be a sign of a drainage problem that could be ruining your foundation. Don’t let it ruin your life. If you’re worried about a crack, call in the experts immediately to diagnose the problem, assess the risk, and suggest a repair.
5. Mold or mildew up high
Mold or mildew up high – on attic ceilings for example – can actually be a sign of a drainage problem down low. Yes, it could just be that your bathroom fan doesn’t have a correctly installed vent pushing hot air out through an outside wall or roof, but it could be that you have a moisture problem in your basement. A moisture problem that is on the rise and causing damp throughout the house. This poses both health problems and structural problems and needs to be checked and dealt with quickly and efficiently.
Of course, not all drainage issues – and their solutions – are created equal. Each has its own fix, which must then be adapted to fit your unique home and property.
The trick, of course, lies in
- finding and assessing the drainage issue at hand;
- choosing the correct fix for the particular issue in the particular location; and finally,
- fixing it properly, eliminating the chance of it happening again.
And if you think that sounds like a lot, you’re right. It is. There’s a reason there are experts for this kind of thing!
If you think you have a drainage issue in your Vancouver home or on your property, or want to ensure you don’t ever run into such issues by opting for preemptive, ongoing maintenance and checks, Urban Water Works can help.