Your Perimeter Drain is Clogged in the Middle of a Rain Storm
It was a dark and rainy night that thankfully didn’t turn into an emergency plumber’s best story. With some spur-of-the-moment ingenuity (a DIY quick-fix you can do too), help from Mother Nature turning off the faucet and a sleepless night, we managed to get ourselves a happy ending. However, it could just as easily have turned into an expensive nightmare when we found out in the middle of a rainstorm that our perimeter drain was clogged.
The rain just hammered down this one particular night. The storm drain simply couldn’t handle the surge of water, which pooled ankle-deep above the grate. Our perimeter drain was supposed to be the overflow, but it couldn’t keep up either.
You Know It’s Bad When the Sump Pump Can’t Keep Up!
We were caught totally off guard. Water was pooling around our house and even with a sump pump water came in under the garage door. We live in an urban area with larger properties, septic fields that last for decades and overall excellent yard drainage. Every fall we do yard clean-up and my husband gets the drains, pipes and gutters ready for the rainy season. But this one night, too much water came down way too fast.
Drainage DIY Tip
While we couldn’t stop the rain or hire a drain cleaning service right then, we did direct the drainage pipe for the gutters further away from the storm drain catchment. That gave the sump pump a chance to catch up. DIY tip: use an extra piece of downspout pipe to direct the water into the garden and off the driveway.
How to Keep the Garage, Basement and Crawlspace from Flooding in an Emergency
With a bit of ingenuity, we also stopped the flood coming into the garage. Hopefully you’ll never need this idea, but just in case – pillowcases filled with sand, which we scooped from the kids’ sandbox, make great sandbags. At first my husband thought I was crazy, and wanted no part of it. However, soon he came to realize that I was going to sandbag the garage door with or without his help. (Thankfully he helped because sandbags are heavy!)
When the fire department drove by, saw that we had the situation under control, and complimented our quick thinking, they were able to continue on to help others with their flooded basements and crawlspaces. So stash your old pillowcases in a box in the garage; you never know when you might need them!
Call an Experienced Plumber at a Drain Services Company Before You Have an Emergency
Fast forward to drier weather: we called an experienced drain services company to get the perimeter drains cleaned and inspected and our septic tank pumped. We didn’t want to go through another rain storm and sleepless night worrying if we’d wake up to a flooded garage or crawlspace. I’m glad emergency plumbers are there when we need them, but including drainage pipe cleaning with our annual home maintenance is so much less stressful. Contact a plumber in your city to find out what you need to know about keeping rain water where it belongs.