A storm drainage system is a crucial feature of any commercial property or housing development. When properly maintained, it serves as a silent guardian, a watchful protector, quietly shielding property owners and the environment from the devasting effects of mismanaged stormwater. Only when these systems are left alone without inspection or maintenance, do property owners come to realize their importance.
To avoid experiencing this costly realization, property owners should schedule regular storm drain inspections. Annual storm drain inspections provide property owners with an accurate assessment of the current and long-term condition of their stormwater facilities. In Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., storm drain inspections also ensure compliance with local permit conditions in certain jurisdictions.
There Are Several Reasons For Regular Inspection of Storm Drain Systems:
Suppose a strong odor is coming from your drainage system. In that case, this can be a tell-tale sign that there is a partial blockage needing to be cleared to allow for the free flow of water. When left untreated, water can back up and cause even more significant problems.
2. Building Movement
If your property is displaying signs of movement, this can be a sign that the foundations of the building are being undermined by water. A damaged drainage pipe can leak water and result in the ground underneath your building’s foundation softening, causing it to move.
Fixing foundational issues can be extremely costly, so it is vital to have storm drains inspected on a regular basis to ensure pipes are checked and repaired and any leaks are stopped sooner rather than later.
3. Purchasing a New Property
It is common knowledge that a building inspection should be carried out prior to purchasing a new property. Most buyers know to check for foundational damage, structural issues, and pest problems. However, the great majority of people probably never even give a second thought to what lies beneath their purchase.
If you are intending to purchase a building, only to learn that there are a multitude of damaged pipes and blockages needing to be replaced or relined, this could add thousands of dollars to your budget as well as months onto your occupancy calendar. A storm drain inspection could thus save a lot of time, money, and heartache.
4. Standing Water
Heavy weather events can result in pooling or puddles on parking lots and other impervious surfaces for a few hours after rainfall. When those puddles remain there for longer than that, then there may be an issue with your storm drains. One good way to check if a storm drain inspection may be required is to compare your own property with that of a neighboring property. If the puddles remain on your property long after they have cleared up on your neighbor’s, there could be a drainage issue.
5. Clogged Inlets
Debris can slowly build up in storm drains and over time become a serious problem that cuts down on the efficiency of your water flow if left unchecked. Reduced flow may even cause water to rise back up onto your property and neighboring properties resulting in property damage and structural issues.
6. Biological Hazards
When water enters a building or property, mold will follow soon after. Mold growth can get into many different building materials after they are waterlogged. This can begin with an odor that starts after heavy rainfall and becomes a persistent issue over time, ending up with black mold growth that can spread throughout a property.
Proper storm drain maintenance can help to protect your property and even your health.
If a sinkhole is visibly forming beneath your parking lot, garage, or even a vegetated area, a leaking storm drain is one of the most likely causes. Seals around storm drain pipes can fail over time because of deterioration due to age or soil settlement. The result of this can be the formation of cracks or holes within underground pipes that cause water to escape underground and waterlog the soil underneath your property. Leaks that are not dealt with will result in more areas of your property sinking.
8. Moving Mulch & Media
The likes of wood chips, mulch, and other media used as part of landscaping serve several different purposes, such as improving the soil condition, enhancing visual appeal, improving drainage, or controlling weeds. However, when mulch and media are displaced following rainfall, it’s often the result of drainage problems, specifically infiltration issues. When stormwater cannot adequately drain into the soil or through a green infrastructure or stormwater facility, the result is often flooded properties.