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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

Stairwell Drains: Why Your Home May Need Them

Clogged Sewer Drain

In recent posts, we’ve addressed an important issue for home plumbing that many people don’t often think about: storm drainage. We’ve looked at flood control systems and window wells to help our customers know more about their importance and why they need to have them installed, repaired, maintained, and eventually replaced.

Today we’re looking at another important part of water drainage in a house: stairwell drains.

What Are Stairwell Drains?

The name may make it sound obvious—a drain at the bottom of a stairwell—but how often do you see drains at the bottom of stairs in homes? Probably never. The specific stairwell drains we’re talking about are located at the bottom of exterior stairwells leading down to basements. Many homes have outside access to their basements through stairs, and because these wells are below ground, they are at a high danger of flooding. 

A stairwell drain removes water that collects at the bottom of one of these stairwells. This not only prevents flooding, it helps to protect the basement from moisture and too much water pressed up against the home foundation. 

Why Your Home May Need Them

If you have an outside stairwell to your basement, then you absolutely need to have a stairwell drain. In fact, you probably already have one that was put in when the home was constructed. The older the home, the less likely it is to have a stairwell drain. 

Stairwell drains serve several important purposes:

  • Alleviating hydrostatic pressure against the foundation: Standing water may seem like it’s relatively harmless if it’s not going anywhere, but standing water is actually quite heavy. If it’s collected at the bottom of a stairwell, it will exert hydrostatic pressure against the external walls of the basement. Given enough time, this can cause cracks that will allow water moisture into the basement.
  • Stops water access to the basement: As we talked about in the post on window wells, water will try to find anywhere it can to get down into the basement. Basement windows are one weak spot, and any external door is another. Water damage in a basement is a serious problem, and simply having a sump pump in place isn’t enough to completely remove the moisture that can seep in. 
  • Prevents mold and mildew growth: Standing water and any water that starts to seep into cracks in the basement or into the basement itself is a breeding ground for mold. Mold harms the building material of buildings and can also create health issues due to toxic mold spores.
  • Reduces pests and vermin: Stagnant water attracts more than mold. It brings in mosquitos, other insects, and rats. You don’t want a pool of water at the bottom of the stairwell inviting all types of unwanted pests.

With a stairwell drain, you won’t have to worry about “bailing out” the stairwell each time it rains. The drain will remove most of the water into the storm drainage system and keep your basement and home protected.

If you need either installation or repair for stairwell drains in Skokie, IL, our plumbers are the ones to call.

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance!

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