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Perimeter Drain & Foundation Inspections

Victoria's Waterproofing Specialists!

Defective perimeter drains are the most common source of basement flooding and foundation deterioration in Victoria. Debris, plant roots or old and broken drain tiles can cause improper drainage and rainwater can pool up next to your foundation causing major problems that are not limited to flooding. Water damage can cause a multitude of problems including: dangerous black mold on the inside of your home, which can cause health issues for you and your family. Bad smells, structural damage, and dangerous toxins may be caused by leaking drains. Water leaking out of drain pipes can saturate surrounding soils and loosen foundations, footings, and structure supports. Many homes in Victoria have outdated systems that are damaged or non-functional. Even worse, some homes do not have a drainage system at all! The best thing you can do to prevent unnecessary and costly damage to your home is to ensure that your drainage system is functional by getting a CCTV camera inspection by the Flintstones team.

Signs of Moisture

Whitened areas of discoloration on any of your masonry, whether that be your basement walls or outside brick, is most likely efflorescence. Efflorescence is a telltale sign that there is a moisture issue that should be addressed immediately. It is caused by water seeping through concrete and other masonry construction to the surface to form insoluble calcium carbonates that harden on the surface appearing almost like a white powder. It takes three variables in order for efflorescence to occur: water-soluble salts present somewhere in the wall, sufficient moisture in the wall to render the salts into a soluble solution and a path for soluble salts to migrate through to surface where moisture can evaporate. The efflorescence process can create incredibly strong hydrostatic pressure within the building material. Hydrostatic pressure that exceeds the strength of the building material can blow the surface off the material, which is known as spalling. Furthermore, concrete spalling that is not attended to in a timely manner will only lead to repair costs as the problem  spreads. Another cause of spalling is the seasonal freeze-thaw cycle in concrete and masonry products that have high moisture content. This is especially relevant here in Victoria, which is why it is so important to consult with a Flintstones professional to be sure that your home is protected from damage.

Inspecting

Whether you suspect your home has a perimeter drainage problem, you have a leaky basement that defies explanation or you think your drains may be in need of maintenance, Flintstones can help. A Flintstones waterproofing expert will thoroughly inspect your property to investigate any potential problems. In some cases, an exploratory excavation outside the home will be recommended in order to ascertain the type and condition of the current drainage system. A CCTV camera inspection is always required to allow us to see an obstruction, collapsed or damaged areas, the intrusion of roots, or at times to map the location of connections to or from the weeping tiles. A trained Flintstones technician inserts a small camera into the drain and along your sewer or drain tile. We set up a monitor and capture screenshots so that you can view the drain yourself and notice the condition it is in.

Moisture Detection Test

Flintstones can perform a moisture detection test to identify and assess unusually wet areas of a home. Excess moisture and humidity left within a building environment or its structural elements is the cause of rot, mold-growth, reduced insulation values, failure of flooring, roofing and wall support. Non-invasive meters, such as the one we use, are very effective for initial troubleshooting and inspection, giving a quick indication of the location of elevated moisture and its source. By pressing the handheld instrument onto the material being tested, we can instantly detect moisture and location of moisture-related problems.

Typical (but Outdated) Drain Systems

The CCTV camera drain inspection will allow our drainage technician to pinpoint problems with your system. Our technician will also conclude what type of system you have. Some systems are so outdated that they no longer provide any drainage for your home at all. Here are some of the systems that we may come across:

FAIL: Clay or Concrete Drainage Tiles

Type of system: Clay and concrete drainage tiles (weeping tiles) are segments of pipe that are placed next to each other to create a drain system that allows water to enter inside and flow through the directed route. Why it fails: These systems have many limitations and often have a very short life expectancy. Soil and frost related ground movement cause the individual tiles to shift and separate from each other allowing excess clay or soil to enter the tiles or the tiles become crushed and collapse. This causes partial or total blockage of the pipe, rendering the system ineffective. Clay tiles can last a long time yet easily separate from earth movement or roots which then allows surrounding debris to clog the tiles.

FAIL: Big O / Corrugated Pipe

Type of system: Big O, or corrugated pipe, is another form of piping used for drainage systems. Why it fails: Although big O pipe is effective in some situations, it is not ideal for perimeter drain systems in Victoria because it isn’t smooth on the inside and crushes more easily, resulting in clogs from leaves and soil that are not possible to clean out with an auger. Due to the fairly flexible nature of the pipe, especially when compared to PVC pipe, it is more difficult to install the pipe at the correct grade as it tends to sink down into the ground in wet areas. It can’t be augered or flushed as it will be destroyed by the pressure.

FAIL: One pipe system (PVC)

Type of system: One pipe system (PVC) Why it fails: PVC pipe systems (2 pipe systems, not 1) are ideal when installed properly by the Flintstones team. However, a multitude of issues can arise when the proper steps are not taken to ensure the system functions. These problems include but are not limited to: no maintenance, absence of drain rock, inadequate use of soil cloth, improper grading and/or insufficient adhesive
for pipe connections. All of these problems and more cause the system to clog and render it ineffective. That’s why our expertise in drainage is so imperative. Do it once, do it right!

Time is of the Essence

Left untreated, a damaged (or non-existent!) drainage system can result in water backing up against the foundation or under your basement floor, which can lead to basement flooding and the associated consequences: property damage, poor indoor air quality, and ultimately, lower home resale value.

The New (Flintstones) Standard

Type of system: A continuous system of PVC or ABS piping is the modern drainage system used today and is the system that Flintstones installs. Two high-density and continuous pipes create a system to carry rainwater away from the roof and the base of the foundation.Why it works: The 2 pipe system is BC building code; all new drainage systems in Victoria must be built this way. On average, 60 percent of water that enters an outdated weeping tile system is rainwater from the roof of the house that runs into the gutter and down the downspouts pooling up next to the foundation of your home. A 2-pipe system consists of: A perforated pipe right at the base of the house that carries groundwater away from your foundation. 3-inch pipe that is connected directly to your downspouts in order to carry rainwater away to the lateral line or storm drain. This completely inhibits water from the downspouts from pooling at the foundation.

Augering / Rootering & Power Flushing

Depending on the situation, after an inspection, our drainage technician may begin the cleaning process by power flushing your drain system, or by using an auger. Sometimes it is necessary to wash out debris from a system with a high-pressure water flushing tool first. If one of our drainage technicians notices a blockage in the system caused by roots, we may move forward with augering. An auger is a rotating cable with an attached blade that can cut through smaller tree and plant roots in its path. Once at the obstruction, a variety of bits on the end of the cable can be used to unclog the drain. Flintstones owns and uses large motor powered augurs that can clear through many drain issues that arise. Often times, in this order, a second power flush is performed in order to remove that loosened debris and tree roots, clearing the drain. Drain system inspections require the expertise of our trained technicians because every situation is unique and solutions are not limited to one or both of these procedures.

Exploratory Excavations

When cleanouts are not available or connecting through a downspout does not offer sufficient access to view your entire drain system with the drain camera, we may perform an exploratory excavation at the corners of your home. Exposing your drain tiles at the foundation footing and entering through cut or removed drain tile means we can reach the camera through and see every section of the system and get a much better understanding of what we are dealing with. This accessibility also allows us to auger and/or power flush through the entire system. This is a common requirement to properly clean and flush old, deteriorated or unmaintained drain systems.

We're Here to Help!

If there is mold in your home or you have any warning signs there is moisture present it is imperative you have it looked at immediately. The team at Flintstones has you covered, with many solutions available to aid your home or workplace. Call our office today to have a trained professional assess your situation and come up with an effective solution.