What causes footer drain backups?

Over time silting (fine dirt particles) or tree roots can partially clog the footer drain and excess water can build up along the foundation. Even when the footer drains are working properly, overflow storm water from gutters can cause too much demand on them. A footer drain lies flat along the footer, has little to no slope, and depends on gravity to relieve the water pressure. The best scenario would be the least amount of water to enter the footer drains.

Property Maintenance

Proper grading away from the foundation of a home is very important. The ground must fall away from the foundation at least six inches within the first ten feet around the perimeter of the home. This is a minimum requirement. The more slope the better. A negative grade towards the foundation will cause the water to run towards the house and eventually lead to a leaky foundation. When proper grading is performed, the water will flow away from the footer drain. Patios, sidewalks, and landscaping should not be pitched toward the foundation. Inspect and relieve standing water along the foundation and install covers over the window wells. Storm sewer lines may also have blockage, breaks, and settlement similar to those previously mentioned in the sanitary lines.

Show All Answers

1. What causes a public sanitary sewer main backup?
2. What causes a private sanitary sewer lateral backup?
3. What causes a public storm sewer main backup?
4. What causes a private storm sewer lateral backup?
5. How do the footer drains work?
6. What causes footer drain backups?
7. Should I install a backwater prevention valve?
8. Should I consider a special rider added to my homeowner's or renter's insurance policy?
9. What are resident responsibilities?
10. What are City responsibilities?
11. What if a problem occurs?
12. Should I use copper sulfate?
13. Is there a list of contractors licensed with the City?
14. Whom should I call for help?