The Importance of Annual Drainage System Service

Annual Drainage system service - sump pump and drainage maintenance - Northwest Drainage


As residents of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, we’re no strangers to rain. Seattle and Tacoma, nestled amidst lush greenery and surrounded by water, experience their fair share of precipitation. Amidst this natural beauty lies a crucial aspect of homeownership: drainage systems. Whether you live in a cozy suburban home or a bustling city apartment, understanding the significance of regular drainage system maintenance is essential. In this blog post, we’ll delve into why annual drainage system service matters, focusing on sump pumps, gravity systems, and the consequences of neglect.

 Sump Pumps: Your First Line of Defense

What Are Sump Pumps?

Sump pumps are devices installed in basements or crawl spaces to prevent flooding. Annual Drainage system service on these sump pumps ensure they work when you need them most. They collect excess water and pump it away from your home’s foundation. In the Seattle-Tacoma area, where heavy rainfall is common, a functioning sump pump is crucial.

Why Annual Service Matters:

  • Debris Removal: Over time, sump pits accumulate debris, affecting pump efficiency. Regular servicing ensures debris removal and optimal pump performance.
  • Motor Inspection: Annual checks verify that the pump motor is operational. Faulty motors can lead to basement flooding during storms.
  • Backup Systems: Battery-powered backup sump pumps need testing. Imagine a power outage during a downpour—your backup system must work flawlessly.

Gravity Systems: The Silent Heroes

What Are Gravity Systems?

Gravity drainage systems rely on natural slopes to move water away from your property. Gutters, downspouts, and French drains fall under this category.

Why Annual Service Matters:

  • Gutter Cleaning: Leaves, twigs, and debris clog gutters. Regular cleaning prevents overflow and water damage.
  • Downspout Maintenance: Ensure downspouts direct water away from your foundation. Blockages can lead to basement leaks.
  • French Drains: These subsurface drains prevent water accumulation. Annual checks ensure they’re clear and functional.
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The Pitfalls of Neglect

What Happens When You Skip Maintenance?

  • Basement Flooding: A malfunctioning sump pump or clogged drain can flood your basement, damaging belongings and compromising structural integrity.
  • Soil Erosion: Poorly maintained drainage systems erode soil around your foundation, risking stability.
  • Mold and Mildew: Stagnant water breeds mold and mildew, affecting indoor air quality and health.
  • Foundation Cracks: Waterlogged soil exerts pressure on foundations, leading to cracks and costly repairs.


Annual drainage system service isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. In Seattle and Tacoma, where rain is a constant companion, proactive maintenance ensures a dry, safe home. Reach out to use to schedule your yearly checkup. Remember, a well-maintained drainage system protects your investment and keeps your family comfortable. Don’t wait for the next storm—act now!

Types of Residential Drainage Systems

Northwest basement drain repair and maintenance

What are, residential drainage systems? They remove excess water from around the home. This type of system helps whisk water away from walkways, driveways and roofs to avoid flooding.

An example of residential water drainage system

Types of Residential Drainage Systems

There are four main types of residential drainage systems: surface, subsurface, slope, downspout and gutters.

Surface Drainage System

For surface drainage to be successful, ditches must be dug in a parallel pattern. The ditches are shallow and will act as canals for run-off water. The ditches will lead the water into the main drain or away from the home to avoid water pooling or flooding. Surface drains are an absolute must if the area is flat since water pooling could potentially cause problems in an area that has a lot of precipitation.  This can be done around buildings, walkways or driveways to keep water flowing away from the structure.

Subsurface Drainage System

The general idea behind subsurface drains is that they are placed beneath the top layer of soil. This removes excess water from soil at the root level that has become water logged. If roots sit in water too long, they will begin to deteriorate and eventually the plant or tree will perish from too much water. The process to install subsurface drains requires digging deep ditches and installing pipes underground. A large collector drain must also be installed so the water can be collected from the pipes. In most areas, a sump pump will also be required in order to push the water through the pipes. These can cause disruptions in the soil and the natural aeration of the soil as well as plant respiration. This is also known as the French drain.

Downspout and Gutter System

The downspout is connected to the gutter system on a building or home and carries water away from the roof down to the ground.  The shape of the downspout pipes can be round or rectangular and are comprised of copper, aluminum or steel. The purpose of the downspout is to catch the water from the gutters and divert it to the ground. Most downspouts will empty out on a slope so the water will not pool at the base of the downspout.

Slope Drainage System

Slope drains allow water to generally take its natural course away from the structure and with the aid of pipes moving down a slope. A pipe is installed and then anchored into a small incline where the water will follow gravity through the pipe and away from the structure. The pipe can be metal plastic, steel or concrete and will be covered with a sturdy grate to keep people and animals from falling into it.

Residential drainage systems are a requirement for any home or building as it will prevent flooding, rot, mold, mildew and structural damage from too much water. Usually drainage issues can be spotted and then easily remedied. Even if water has not pooled or flooding occurs there could still be a slow leak that will cause extensive damage. The general rule is that all homes should have a gutter and downspout system in place. If additional drainage systems need to be added, then research each one and pick the best option for the home. If necessary, consult a professional before installing or having a system installed