Basement Floor Drain and All You Need to Know About Them

Dry Tech Waterproofing Solutions is a licensed company with 25 years of experience; our waterproofing specialists will take the time to explain all you need to know about your basement floor drain.

Many flooding issues solved by our basement waterproofing specialists had one thing in common: a clogged or missing basement floor drain. In many cases, the building had an underground draining system, but the homeowners had covered the drain with flooring. 

Also, there are no basement floor drains in old houses – built before the 1960s – because during the first half of the 20th century the basement was not considered a living space. Thus, neither builders nor prospective homeowners thought of adding a basement floor drain. However, at the present, many people turn their basement into an entertainment room, guest bedroom, or utility room. They really need to consider the issue of preventing moisture from accumulating in this underground space.

What Is a Basement Floor Drain?

One of the issues that we encounter when we start asking questions during the initial evaluation meeting with the clients is that many do not even know what a basement floor drain is. Thus, they are not even sure if they have it or not.

Basically, the basement floor drain looks just like a shower drain. It continues under the foundation of the house with a pipe that connects either to a collection pit or with the local sewer system.

How Does a Basement Floor Drain Work?

Basement floor drains may not look great on your concrete floor, but they are actually mandatory according to the most recent building codes in the US. They allow the excess moisture in the basement to drain safely away from your home instead of pooling.

There are so many potential causes of water accumulating in your basement:

  • A leaky water heater
  • Torrential rain
  • Sewage issues

The basement floor drain is critical in homes where the boiler is installed in the basement. Imagine a major leak – gallons of water on your basement floor. Without the drain, that water stagnates, impregnates in the walls, and favors the growth of mold and mildew which, in time, will expand to the rest of the house.

The Importance of the Basement Floor Drain

A properly working basement floor drain can effectively remove excess water from the place where it is most likely to accumulate. Your basement (as its name says) is located below ground level. It may be surrounded by the local water table if the grading of your home is not done correctly.

It is also subject to wear and tear as the building works and settles over the decades. With proper waterproofing on the inside, you can be assured that water may not enter the basement from the outside. The role of the basement floor drain is to remove water generated inside the building. 

Thus, if you live in an old building, you need to ask waterproofing specialists how to install a floor drain in the basement. Or, if you already have one but it is old and damaged, you need to consider basement floor drain replacement. The alternative may be a complicated and costly operation to remove flooding and its negative effects not just from the basement, but also from the rest of your house.

The Main Causes of Clogged Basement Floor Drain

Without a doubt, the number one problem of a basement floor drain that does not work properly is clogging. This happens over years of failure to inspect, clean, and maintain the drain. Just as you make sure that water drains properly from your sinks, bathtub, or shower, you should pay the same attention to the basement floor drain.

There are many reasons that lead to clogging:

  • Human or pet hair
  • Dirt 
  • Debris

In some cases, we even encountered situations where the homeowner would sweep debris from the floor directly into the basement floor drain. This is a huge mistake, as the function of this feature is to drain only liquids, not solid materials.

How to Unclog a Basement Floor Drain?

By cleaning your basement floor drain on a regular basis, you can keep it in good working condition. Here is what you need to do:

  • Remove the metallic cover of the basement floor drain with a screwdriver
  • Wearing utility gloves, reach into the drain, and pull out solid debris
  • Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain
  • Use the bathroom plunger to suck out any remaining debris
  • In case of solidified debris, use a mix of one box of baking soda and a cup of vinegar

If none of these solutions work, you probably need to call a plumber to unclog the basement floor drain using a drain cleaning machine.

Our Waterproofing Specialists Can Help You with Any Basement Floor Drain Problems

At Dry Tech Waterproofing, we have over 25 years of experience in helping homeowners fix or replace a damaged basement floor drain. We have licensed waterproofing contractors always ready to help you with any basement problems in:

  • Horsham
  • Jenkintown
  • Fort Washington
  • Wyndmoor
  • Berwyn
  • West Chester
  • Springfield
  • Glenolden
  • Havertown
  • Ardmore
  • Media
  • Philadelphia
  • Pottstown
  • Drexel Hill
  • Downington
  • Norristown
  • King of Prussia
  • Wayne

If you have a clogged basement floor drain, call our specialists now at 888-537-9832!


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