Category Archives: Flooding Solutions

Solving the Mystery of a Leaking House: How to Identify & Fix Water Leaks in Your Basement

Discovering a leaking house can be a disheartening experience. You can spend hours searching for the source of the leak only to come up empty-handed. Unfortunately, water leaks are a common problem in many homes, especially those with basements. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to identify and fix water leaks in your home. This blog will discuss the common causes of water leaks in homes, how to fix them, and how to prevent further leaks. Read on to learn more about how to solve the mystery of a leaking house.

What to Do When You Discover a Leaking House

If you discover that your house is leaking, the first thing to do is assess the damage. Take note of any visible signs of water damage, including water stains on the walls and ceilings, mould, and warped floors. If you suspect a water leak, locate the source of the leak as quickly as possible. This will help you determine the best way to address the problem.

The most important thing to remember is that water leaks can cause serious damage if left unchecked. It’s essential to act fast to avoid costly repairs down the line. If you’re concerned about the safety of your home, contact a professional to inspect the area and make the necessary repairs.

What Causes Water Leaks in Your House?

There are a variety of factors that can cause water leaks in your house. The most common culprit is ground water entering a home when it is buried underground and having nowhere else to go but inside your home.

In some cases, the source of the leak may be difficult to pinpoint. If this is the case, it’s best to call in a professional to help you identify the source of the leak. A professional can quickly pinpoint the source of the leak and make the necessary repairs.

Identifying the Source of the Leak

The first step in solving the mystery of a leaking house is to identify the source of the leak. This can be a tricky process, as the source of the leak may not be immediately apparent.

Start by looking for any visible signs of water damage, such as water stains on the walls or ceiling, mould, or warped floors. If you can’t find any obvious signs of a water leak, it’s time to start looking for more subtle signs.

Check for any unusual smells or sounds, such as a musty smell or gurgling noises. You may also want to check for any signs of moisture or dampness in the walls, floors, and ceilings. If you can’t find any visible signs of water damage, it’s time to call a professional. A professional will be able to pinpoint the source of the leak and make the necessary repairs.

Common Causes of Water Leaks in Basements

Basements are one of the most common areas for water leaks. This is because basements are usually the lowest point in the home, making them susceptible to flooding.

The most common cause of water leaks in basements is poor drainage. If your basement has no means of diverting ground water away from the home then it will enter the home instead. Water can easily seep in and cause damage.

Drainage Subsoil Solutions

If the source of the leak is poor drainage, you may want to consider installing a drainage subsoil system. A drainage subsoil system is designed to redirect water away from the house, preventing it from seeping in and causing water damage.

The drainage subsoil system consists of a network of pipes and trenches that are installed around the perimeter of the house. The pipes and trenches are designed to collect and divert water away from the house, preventing it from seeping in and causing damage.

This type of system is relatively lengthy and expensive to install but is the most effective way to prevent water damage long-term. If you’re concerned about the safety of your home, it’s best to call in a professional to install the system for you.

How to Prevent Future Leaks

Once you’ve fixed the source of the leak, it’s important to take steps to prevent future leaks. Whilst all the trenches are open around the home, the drain layers would seal up any obvious entry points to the home such as cracked bricks or holes in the walls. The drain layers also apply 2 coats of waterproof paint as a precaution to prevent any more water from entering the home.

DIY or Hire a Professional?

When it comes to fixing a leaking house, it’s important to decide whether you’ll do the repairs yourself or hire a professional. While it’s tempting to attempt DIY repairs, it’s usually best to call in a professional. This is because water leaks can cause serious damage if left unchecked. A professional will be able to quickly identify the source of the leak and make the necessary repairs.

If you want to get Drainage NZ to look at your house to see what can be done to stop the water form getting in, they offer a free consultation. During the consultation, they’ll inspect your home and provide you with a detailed report on the best way to address the problem.

Flooding: When council systems fail, what to do

When the drainage infrastructure fails it could spell disaster for your home or neighborhood. Council lines are not immune to failure, especially during a storm surge. When this happens it can cause flooding. Putting your home at risk of water damage. Even something minor like a boggy lawn can lead to problems in the future. Furthermore, If your home is older than 30 years old then this could put your home’s foundation at risk, causing structural faults.

Managing Flooding

So, flooding can be a serious issue for your property. Therefore having sufficient drainage solutions is key to prevent unexpected damages. Saving you a headache and thousands of dollars in the future.

If you notice parts of your property, such as your lawn collecting water this may be a sign of poor drainage. Subsoil drainage can help solve this issue. A pipe is placed underground and removes excess water to a nearby storm water sewer.

But what if the Council Lines Fail?

The drains and sewers built by the local council to serve as drainage for your area are only rated to a certain capacity. If there is a significant amount of rain such as during a storm then this could lead to flooding. Rivers could begin to spill out of their banks, and debris could clog the pipes. When this happens the council lines may not be able to remove the water fast enough.

If your area is prone to floods and you are concerned for your property what actions can you take to protect your home? Since subsoil drainage relies on the council storm water sewer then it is as good as useless in the event of flood. However there is a solution.

Underground detention tanks act as a buffer between your home’s subsoil drainage and the council lines. A detention tank stores water and discharges it into the council lines slowly to prevent over burdening the system. This also means that in the event of a storm, the tank can simply store the water until the drain can remove it.

If your property suffers from flooding or poor drainage give us a call at 0800 DRAINLAYER (372 465) or contact us online for a solution.

A Kiwis’s Guide to Preventing Mould Damage in Basements

Going down to the basement and finding that it’s filled with nasty moulds can be quite a nightmarish situation. Besides the fact that water damage is quite an eyesore, those rapidly growing microscopic organisms can trigger several health problems and structural concerns. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent or mitigate mould damage in basements. Read through our short guide below and get expert insights on how you can handle the situation.

What are Moulds, and How can they Affect you?

Moulds can grow anywhere, even in well-maintained places. It’s a type of fungi, which means it propagates quickly in highly moist areas. The humid climate in New Zealand is also a major contributing factor of mould overgrowth.

They naturally occur outdoors, especially on dead trees and other types of debris. However, they can spread on various material such as wallpaper, wooden tiles, ceiling, and wooden supporting beams when they invade homes. If left undiscovered, mould overgrowth can cause severe structural damage as the materials rot and weaken. It also impacts your home’s aesthetic because of dark or sometimes greenish stains on the affected areas.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, moulds can also increase risks for many health problems, including:

  • Pneumonitis
  • Allergic sinusitis
  • Asthma attacks
  • Aspergillosis

How to Prevent Moulds from Growing, especially in the Basement

Most of the time, mould problem starts in the basement due to leaky pipes and other plumbing issues. That’s why it’s crucial to have your pipe problems fixed before they cause water damage. Some signs of pipe damage or leaks that you need to look out for include the following:

  • Unexplainably high water bill
  • Musty smell especially in rooms with a lot paper and wood
  • Visible stains caused by mildews or moulds
  • Wet and moist parts on the ceiling or walls

It’s also good practice to check for basement flooding. If your property was constructed back in the 1980s, it might be susceptible to basement flooding due to the absence of subsoil drainage. While it may be tempting to use stormwater sumps, it’s best to choose either waterproofing solutions or subsoil drainage installation to keep the water from coming in and accumulating in the area.

Here are other specific applications of subsoil drainage installation:

  • Properties with uneven landscape and high contour differences 
  • Auckland homes that have clay soil
  • Properties that require building retaining walls

If you already have subsoil drainage, you may opt to use basement flooding solutions instead. Talk to a drainlayer to know the most practical method to use to waterproof your home.

What to Do after Getting Rid of Extra Moisture in the Basement

Once you keep the moisture levels at an ideal rate, it will be easier to prevent or mitigate the damage. If you’re only dealing with minor damage, scrubbing with a powerful cleaning solution made from soap, bleach and water may be enough to clear out the mould and mildew.

However, if the damage is too severe and extensive, it’s better to call for a mould remediation professional. Dealing with severe mould overgrowth in your home is not recommended because it exposes you to health risks. Also, you might not address the problem as effectively as a mould removal or remediation specialist would.

Take note tht failing to remove or clean all the mould-infested areas would only spell trouble for your hour household in the next few months. The moulds can grow back and cause the same problem over and over until you completely address the root cause of it all.

Act Fast and Prevent Future Problems!

If you think your area is susceptible to mould damage and infestation, you need to act quickly. Have your drainage checked or ask for a professional house waterproofing to prevent moisture from seeping into the interiors. It’s also helpful to eliminate other moisture sources in the property such as washing machine or dishwasher leaks, poorly insulated windows or crawlspaces, and sewer backups. 

Get in touch with a drainage specialist or an Auckland drainlayer today to help protect your home from moulds.

Permanent Leaky Basement and Flooding Solutions

If you are experiencing one of the following issues:

  • Flooding Basement area
  • Water under house
  • Flooding driveways
  • Blocked stormwater drains
  • Boggy Lawns
  • Subsoil drainage problems
  • Excessive water accumulation

Then you need to think about a permanent long term solution if you care about the property. Whether you intend to sell or keep Long term solutions mean more value and more safety for the occupants and/or owners.

Drainage NZ have been doing subsoil drainage and providing flooding solutions for over 20 years! Our solutions are cost effective and you only pay once to have the problem solved first time.

Some recent flooding issues Drainage NZ has resolved

A drainage solution is not just finding someone that can dig a hole and throw a punched Nova coil into the ground. There needs to be an understanding of physics and a plan needs to be engineered which is closely linked to the issues you are facing.

Subsoil Drainage Solutions

Drainage NZ have been involved in 100s of subsoil drainage solutions around the larger Auckland area. We have done everything from engineering soak holes to providing unique thrusted and/or drilled solutions for home and business owners that assumed no solution existed.

In Auckland you will find several extreme ground conditions. Whilst in Mt Wellington you may have volcanic ground, in West Auckland or on the North Shore you will find many areas are meters deep in clay that offers zero ground percolation. Where the one offers plenty of soakage the other will offer none but both have one thing in common requiring an engineered methodology to tackle the different forms of flooding that are affecting properties.

Our solutions also include many properties that are affected by no available public storm water networks requiring self-management of roof and surface water.

Consents and Plans

If and when design and consent are (e.g in some instances pumped solutions) required Drainage NZ take care of everything. We have designers in-house that work closely with our field technicians to achieve your desired scope successfully.

Here some subsoil drainage jobs Drainage NZ have completed recently.

Location: West Auckland
Problem: Basement flooding (water leaking into room below ground and garage areas)
Depth: 1.6 meters Length: 26 meters
Scope: Excavation, waterproofing, drainage works. Reinstatement and landscaping and concrete works.
Outfall: Existing Private SW to Public Stormwater

Location: Central Auckland (Mt Wellington)
Problem: Excessive Flooding into house areas below external outside area.
Depth: 1.5 meters Length: 15 meters
Scope: Rock breaking, Excavation, waterproofing, drainage works
Outfall: Existing Onehunga Soakhole

Location: North Shore
Problem: House piling flooding. Incorrect onsite levels introduce excessive water to areas under house resulting in piling slipping, cracked walls and framing in upper levels. 
Depth: 1.2 meters to point of discharge. 
Scope: Excavation of clay, leveling ground, waterproofing, drainage works
Outfall: Existing Private Soak hole

Wet Carpet Flood Tips

A wet carpet is more than just a nuisance. It may be a symptom of a more serious underlying residential drainage problem such as basement flooding. Not only that, it may also become a cause for serious health risks, i.e. the growth of moulds or mildew.

There are many possible scenarios that can lead to basement flooding. Houses built on wooden pilling with external block walls on foundation are prone to this issue. On the other hand, below-ground-level entryways or long steep driveways invite surface water into the home.

Regardless of the cause, basement flooding is something that needs urgent attention. Wet carpets harbour moulds, including a particularly dangerous one, Stachbotrys, that can cause severe illness in adults or death in infants. In ideal conditions, moulds can grow on wet carpet within a span of 48 to 72 hours

Before you panic, read this handy guide for dealing with a flooded basement. Doing these steps will help prevent permanent damage to your property and belongings:

  • First of all, turn off the circuit breakers to the flooded areas and remove any small electrical devices. For your safety, wear rubber boots and gloves. Or call your local electrician for help.
  • If safe to do so, remove small furnishings immersed in the water to prevent rotting or rusting. Metal furniture may also leave stains on the carpet if left standing on it too long.
  • Hang draperies or other furniture skirts that are in contact with water. This will prevent water stains.
  • Remove valuable items, paper goods, potted plants and breakables.
  • Do not attempt to use a vacuum or shop vac to remove water from the basement. This is a potential electrical shock waiting to happen.
  • Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after removing important items from your basement.
  • If you suspect that the flooding is sewage related, do not handle any of the items. Also, do not use a fan or turn on the air con unit to dry up the wet floor. This will only help to spread the contamination.
  • Plan for flood restoration professionals to dry and disinfect the flooded area.

Ultimately, the best solution in this situation is to solve basement flooding permanently, not just to deal with the effects.

If left unresolved, it can cause considerable damage to the flooring, furniture and even the structural foundation of your home. You’ll likely run into the same problem in the future as well, so it’s like a never-ceasing headache.

Fixing the root of the problem is the best route. Once you got that sorted out, you should call in flood restoration experts such as Auckland Steam ‘n’ Dry to get your basement back to its original state. You can call them on 09 376-7007.

We recommend doing it the professional way because it guarantees proper drying and restoration methods that will prevent the growth of moulds and eliminate any contamination issues.



Boggy / Soggy Lawn Solutions

Boggy lawns are a pretty common problem for homeowners in Auckland, where many areas have clay soils. High-density soils such as clay soil and compacted soil have low percolation, which means they drain water slowly. As such, they tend to get waterlogged easily in a flash rain, resulting in a soggy lawn.


Having a boggy lawn can be problematic in a number of ways. For one, it can cause flooding. In the event of a heavy rain, the surface water from your lawn might find its way into your basement. Things can get really messy and costly to deal with. If you are growing a garden, poor drainage can drown your flowers and vegetation.

Fortunately, there are a number of subsoil solutions for soggy lawns. The right method will depend on how big your lawn is, how often it gets wet and how long it remains wet.

If the lawn is relatively small, it might be easier to eliminate the problem rather than solve it. In other words, you might want to consider altering your lawn. A well-draining soil needs air in it. In the case of clay, the tiny soil particles are compacted so they don’t allow much room for air. To manage this, you can introduce lots of organic matter such as compost and aged manure to lighten the soil. Organic matter will force the tightly packed soil particles apart, resulting in improved drainage. If you are growing a garden, another option for you is to build raised beds on top of the clay. Planting a cover crop with a deep root system, such as clover, turnip and alfalfa, can also aerate the soil.

If altering your lawn isn’t an option or if your soil is heavy clay, a more effective solution is to install underground drainage pipes or tiles. This is done by laying clay or plastic pipes beneath the ground to create a soakaway that will drain the water off your lawn.  A soakaway is a hole dug in the ground that’s filled with coarse stones, gravel or any material that will allow the runoff to percolate back into the ground faster.


It might sound like a project you can DIY, but it’s a lot of physical labour and can become costly if you make even a small mistake. It also requires precise engineering to ensure proper water runoff and percolation in even the heaviest rains.

We know this very well and we’ve seen a lot of botched DIY attempts at managing a clay lawn, which is why Drainage NZ offers affordable, engineered basement and garage flooding solutions for Auckland. We remedy boggy lawns by installing compliant garden drainage. The process involves soil assessment and percolation tests, so we can determine exactly how to work around your lawn.

Once we have determined the ground slope, percolation rate and the proper location for the drainage pipes, we’ll build a trench filled with loose soil or gravel that will receive the surface water. This is also where the drainage pipes will be laid. The width of the drainage area will depend on the rate at which water must be absorbed back into the ground. If the lawn tends to get waterlogged relatively fast, the trench will have to be larger and filled with gravel instead of loose soil. The drainage pipe used here has special holes in them to allow the water in the trench to enter and be swiftly carried away to a catch area.

The good thing about this solution is it can be integrated into your garden design. It doesn’t have to be an odd line of gravel around your lawn as the drain can be covered by turf or made into an attractive footpath.