Owning your own home comes with many little maintenance jobs. Keeping your house tidy and making sure all your appliances and amenities are in working order can take a lot of your time, and anyone who owns a property in London with a basement sump pump has another challenge to ensure your basement doesn’t flood.
A healthy and working sump pump will keep your property safe from water ingress and leaks that could result in a flooded basement, but is this enough?
The importance of clear drains and pipes
Fully functional plumbing is something that most people take for granted. When everything is working and there are no blockages, most people don’t give much thought to the potential problems that can arise and how one issue can affect another.
Basements in particular can be affected by other blockages as water will naturally gravitate downwards. If your guttering becomes blocked, then the water that would typically flow down the gutter and into the drainpipe will instead seep into the ground next to your property and eventually will lead into your basement. Any blockage in your drainage system can have the same effect as water will gravitate downwards and into your lowest space; your basement.
If your basement is not protected by a waterproofing system then this can result in damp, black mould and property damage. If you have a sump pump however, it is likely you have a Type C waterproofing cavity drainage system which will collect and channel that water to your sump pump. The additional water caused by your blocked guttering can therefore cause your sump pump to have to work harder to remove more water than it was designed for, which can have a catastrophic effect on its inner mechanisms and motors due to the constant use.
Even in the warmer, drier months, similar problems could be caused by burst or leaking pipes on your property.
How to spot a blocked drain
Whether your blockage is interior or exterior, it is usually easy to spot the common signs of a blocked drain.
The first thing you might notice is that your drains may be slow to empty, be it from your bathtub, kitchen sink or pooling of water from your gutter drains. This sign is very easy to ignore and you may get used to slow drainage and not see it as a problem, however this is a clear sign that there is an issue that needs addressing.
In addition to draining slowly, your drains may make a funny sound like a gurgling which is a sign that the liquid trying to drain is having to navigate its way past a blockage in the pipes. Even a system that is not draining slowly can have a partial blockage that is not addressed could result in a full blockage so it is worth checking out any funny sound coming from your drains.
A smell emanating from your drains is another sign that there is a blockage. The exact smell can vary depending on the blockage, however it is usually unpleasant.
If you notice any of these signs it is worth checking to see why the drain is blocked, and making sure to clear it before it causes more issues in your home.
How to spot a blocked Pipe
A blocked pipe will not initially be as easy to spot as you may not see any signs until the pipe bursts. Changes in water pressure and water flow are not as noticeable and even if you notice this, it may be impossible to pinpoint where the blockage is before the pipe bursts. In most cases unfortunately more often than not the blocked pipe will burst before you notice anything.
If you have a burst pipe, you will usually notice a sudden onset of damp or water in a typically dry wall, where the water that should be contained in the pipe has leaked out through either cracks caused by the burst pipe or thought connecting joints in the plumbing.
If you see damp patches in a wall that was always dry, it is vital that you call a plumber who can clear your pipes quickly and prevent further damage to your property. Our experts can quickly identify the problem and help fix any burst pipes in your home before it causes damage to your basement pump.
What to do if your property has blocked drains or pipes
If your home or property has blocked drains or pipes then you will need to rectify the cause of the blockage as well as ensuring that any excess moisture that has entered your property has not affected your sump pump workings and effectiveness.