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Preventing A Drainage Catastrophe

January 7th, 2012

Home maintenance is one of the most important tasks to keep up with in order to avoid any major water issues.  No one wants to experience sewer backups in their home, especially the basement.  Any water damage in the home can be very costly, and that is why prevention is the best solution.

Here are some ways to keep your basement clean and dry:

·Clear gutters at least twice a year to prevent overflowing. Leaves and debris will clog gutters and can send water back toward your roof, walls, or foundation.
·Make sure gutters and downspouts are not connected to municipal sewage lines.

·Your yard should be graded to slope away from the house so surface water is drained away.

·If gutters connect to storm sewers, keep drain lines clear.

·Check to make sure gutter downspouts extend at least 10 feet away from the foundation of the house. This way water is carried away from basement walls.

Prevent Backflow:

What is Backflow?  Backflow is the undesirable reversal of water in any plumbing system. It can lead to leaking, flooding, and contamination of potable water. There are homes that have check-valve devices that allow water and sewage to flow away from the drain. This prevents water and sewage from backing up into the drain. Gate-valve devices work by closing and shutting off the flow of water and sewage. You can also use drain plugs and standpipes to prevent backflow, but they also come with some risk. Drain plugs seal off the
flow of water but can cause an overflow to occur at the next opening in the system. Standpipes or vertical pipes connected and sealed to a drain, contain overflows and act as safety valves, but can only contain backflow up to their height – usually just three feet.

Sump Pumps:

Sump pumps remove water from a reservoir in your home. There are several types of sump pumps, including single sump pumps and dual-level systems. Usually, batteries or a generator can be used to power the pump in case of a power failure. If you have a sump pump, check it every month to make sure that it’s working. If it’s a battery-powered unit, check to make sure the battery is charged.

You can also always check with your local building code department, water utility, or a
qualified plumber for more information on steps you can take to reduce the chance of water damage to your home.

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