What Would Cause New Drainage Around House to Clog?

Answered by Brett ~ June 24, 2011 ~ No Comments

Due to some old drainage tiles collapsing our basement began to flood. We had a contractor put in a new drainage system around the house. After the repairs, the basement flooding stopped for a short period of time, but then returned. Nobody seems to know what would cause this problem.

Kathy I. ~ Westfield, IN

Brett Kulina

Kathy, there are several reasons why the drain system around your home's foundation may have failed, but without inspecting the actual system it is difficult for me to pinpoint a definitive culprit. From your description, it appears as though the perforated PVC pipe, which runs along the foundation's footing, may have clogged with gravel and dirt. This type of problem usually occurs when there is no filter fabric installed around the perforated drain pipe, which then allows dirt and gravel to eventually wash into the weep holes in the pipe's side. Even when a drain pipe is covered with several inches of course gravel, it is important to have the filter fabric in place to keep out and smaller particles of dirt and sand.

Another reason for your drainage issues may just be the seasonal fluctuation of ground water in your local area. It is possible that during a wet spring, there might be so much hydrostatic pressure pushing on your foundation walls, that water is finding its way into your basement. If the outside of your basement walls are not covered in a waterproof membrane, or at least a few coats of foundation tar, then I would suspect this to be the problem.

Unless you have someone dig up and inspect a portion of your drain system, then you may only be able to guess at what is causing your problems. If upon inspection, you learn that your basement walls are not sealed or you confirm that there is no filter fabric protecting the drain pipe, then you may have some serious upgrading to do to your home's drainage system. The important thing is for you to fix the problem so that you don't have to deal with a wet basement anymore.

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