Questions & Answers
How to detect a drainage problem?
- Moisture around the concrete slab cracks
- Presence of water at the bottom of the foundation from the inside
- Constant high humidity in the basement
- Presence of mold at the bottom of the basement walls
- Infiltration of water during spring thaw or during heavy rain
- Primary sump pump not keeping up on rainy days
- Sump pump runs non stop
What are the consequences of a defective drainage system?
- Water infiltration in the basement
- Development of mold
- Humidity in the basement / high heating costs
- Raising of the floor
- Damage to the basement’s walls and floors
What are the causes of a faulty drain?
- Improper installation of the drainage system
- Negligent backfilling of the earth at the time of construction around the foundation can cause a French drain to collapse under the weight of rocks in the backfill
- Roots of mature trees
- Lack of river bed rock and cleaning chimney accessibility in the presence of ferrous iron bacteria
- The age of the building and whether or not there are actually French drains
What is a hidden defect?
Contrary to what many people think, a hidden defect is not necessarily a defect that was deliberately hidden by the seller of the building. As it is stipulated in the Quebec Civil Code (art. 1726), it is a defect that a prudent and diligent buyer could not discover during an examination, without being assisted by an expert.
Generally, problems of foundation, French drains and water infiltration are considered as hidden defects. This is particularly the case when we are faced with finished basement. Indeed, the finishing elements (gyproc walls, floating floors) can easily hide foundations problems.
However, the defect may become apparent in the case where the signs of the problem can be observed by a prudent and diligent buyer. The presence of efflorescence on foundation walls and floor slabs, stains, and mold on baseboard finishings are clues that reveal the presence of a disorder and make the defect apparent.
Are there any solutions for the ferrous iron bacteria problems?
- Replacement of existing drains by rigid drains with larger holes, greater diameter, installed with more pronounced slope and corners at 45 degree angles instead of the traditional 90 degree angle;
- Addition of smooth river bed rock (a mixture of stones of 2 to 4 inches) below and above the drain. A minimum of 1 cubic foot per linear foot is installed on all replacement of French drains;
- Adding cleaning chimneys (12 inches in diameter) with caps installed at some strategic locations, connected over the French drains to facilitate access for inspection and cleaning;
- Maintenance by regular high pressure cleaning of French drains remains the best prevention against the blockage of drains. The frequency of cleaning is determined by the seriousness and importance of the presence of ferrous iron bacteria.
What are the symptoms associated with the ferrous iron bacteria?
- High humidity in the house
- Condensation on windows and mold at the bottom of the walls
- Unsuccessful addition of a ventilation system or a dehumidifier
- Flooding of the basement due to a malfunction of the sump pump
- Frequent replacement of the sump pump
- Infiltration of orange colored water
- Gelatinous material in the pit and the drain
- Presence of orange material in the ditches of the neighbourhood