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.

Everything You Need to Know About Soakholes

In New Zealand a common method of managing rain water is Soak Holes. In the following information we will be focusing on the city of Auckland which is the most populated and quickest growing region in New Zealand.

In Auckland managing rain or so called “Stormwater” correctly is critical for the cities growth and infrastructure. Auckland Council is constantly challenged by the ever changing weather patterns and population growth. As the population grows so must the public stormwater system, the problem councils have is that the population is:

  1. Outgrowing the public stormwater system
  2. The public Stormwater system can’t grow quick enough to keep up with the demand. This is a costly task that only can only be done during certain times of the year and only as it’s needed. As such, councils are always behind on growing the city’s public infrastructure.

Several years ago, council engineers came up with a quick fix that would help slow down the effects of population growth and the introduction of more water being collected from new roofs that would discharge into the public system.

Design regulations for new builds and subdivisions now included the requirement and/or option to;

  • Allow a property to manage its own stormwater as much as much possibly practical by means of retention tanks, detention tanks (regulated overflow allowing the public system to keep up when there is a high demand) and soak holes.

In section, we will be focusing on the different types of soak holes and how they can help property owners manage rain water from roofs and surfaces successfully. 

Three Different Types of Soak Holes in Auckland

Residential Soak holes

In the early days many areas around Auckland did not have a public storm water system to connect onto. If you had a public connection, you were considered very lucky! Year later in 2020, some areas still don’t offer public a infrastructure. Many homes, especially those built in the 60’s and 70’s continue to manage their roof and surface water within the boundary. This is typically done by means of an onsite ‘Soakhole”.

As drainlayers when we ask for a LIM to identify what

Onehunga Soakholes

Its all about ground percolation and enabling a site or home to manage its own roof and/or surface water within the site itself. What better way is there than allowing nature to do its own thing?   The concept of the Onehunga soakhole does exactly that. (Speak to Drainage NZ about Soakhole drilling, engineering and design.

A GEOTECH drilling rig is arrange to drill down into the volcanic bedrock where a pipe riser is inserted to enable water to overflow as far down as applicable design stipulates. At that point, water will disburse naturally underground. Geotechnical drilling services are available)

As you can see in the design below, the soakhole does have a safety mechanism in case the drilled bedrock hole blocks or should the incoming water exceed the soakhole capacity. This is the overflow point shown as the entry head.

At this point water may overflow into the public system or external soakage trench as shown below.

Trench Field Soakholes

When rock is not available the GEOtechnical engineer may explore the option to discharge stormwater into a scoria layer underground if the site is suitable. The principal is simple. If found scoria layers can act as a disbursement field by allowing water to travel downstream across a whole suburb below the ground, naturally finding a route to the ocean. Because percolation is limited.

Design Notes may Include:

ADDITIONAL SOAKAGE PIT NOTES:

  1. THE CONTRACTOR SHALL TAKE NOTE OF HOLD POINTS ON THE DRAWINGS AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS AS NOTED AND ARRANGE FOR THE APPROPRIATE ENGINEERING REPRESENTATIVE TO BE PRESENT WHERE APPLICABLE AND/OR PASS ON TESTING INFORMATION AS REQUIRED PRIOR TO PROCEEDING WITH FURTHER WORKS
  1. HOLD POINT – THE CONTRACTOR SHALL CARRY OUT SOAKAGE TESTING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AUCKLAND SOAKAGE DESIGN MANUAL AT THE PROPOSED SOAKAGE PIT LOCATION WITH THE ENGINEER IN ATTENDANCE. FINAL SOAKAGE PIT DEPTH AND DIMENSIONS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE ENGINEER PRIOR TO SOAKAGE PIT CONSTRUCTION.
  1. HOLD POINT – THE BASE OF THE SOAKAGE PIT SHALL BE INSPECTED BY THE GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEER FOR APPROVAL, THE BASE SHALL BE 500mm INTO THE BASE OF THE INSITU FREE DRAINING GRAVEL / SCORIA LAYER. DEPTHS SHOWN INDICATIVE BASED ON GEOTECHNICAL INVESTIGATION.
  1. INLET CONNECTIONS INTO MANHOLES TO COMPLY WITH COUNCIL STANDARDS
  2. CONCRETE DRIVEWAY SLAB TO EXTEND A MINIMUM OF 500mm OVER THE ROCKFILL FOOTPRINT ON ALL SIDES
  1. GEOTEXTILE TO BE BIDIM A29 OR APPROVED EQUIVALENT AND SHALL EXTEND DOWN TO GRAVEL / SCORIA LAYER ON ALL SIDES, BRING GEOTEXTILE 500mm UP SIDE OF MANHOLE RISER AND TIE OFF WITH DENSO TAPE. (HOLD POINT – INSPECTION PRIOR TO BACKFILL)

For more detailed information about soakholes and soakhole regulation, please download the following guide called Auckland Soakhole Design Manual.

The purpose of this Manual is to provide guidance in the design of stormwater soakage devices for residential and commercial properties in soakage areas of Auckland  City.    Soakage  areas  have  limited  stormwater  reticulation,  and  are  primarily located in parts of Ellerslie, Penrose, Onehunga, Mt Eden, Epsom, Mt Roskill  and  Mt  Albert.    Public  soakage  devices  are  provided  for  runoff  from  roadways  in  these  areas,  but  individual  property  owners  must  construct  and  maintain  their  own  soakage  devices  for  runoff  from  private  properties.    The  soakage  devices  allow  stormwater  to  percolate  into  the  ground,  and  generally  consist of either boreholes into fractured rock or large holes filled with scoria.  

Can I make my own Soakhole?

The building code does allow a certain extent of “Garden Drainage” without involving a specialist, designer or even a registered drainlayer. We highly recommend you familiarise yourself with the rules before you attempt a DIY. Getting wrong could cause severe your or others property.

The quick answer to the question above is no. Soakhole need to be designed based on a series of things, including:

  1. Location (certain criteria needs to be met)
  2. Incoming water capacity
  3. Geotech conditions
  4. Size and depth
  5. Environmental effects.

The law is a more flexible around existing soakholes that need repair or redrilling. A repair may bypass all the consent and engineering requirements.

If you need your soakhole repaired, moved or removed please speak to our drainage engineers that will be able to help you find a solution that suits your budget and site. 

 

Not only should clients be aware of what the engineering notes are but so should the contractor to ensure a realistic scope is covered which will allow the client to budget the project accordingly.

Some notes may include:

  1. THE CONTRACTOR SHALL LOCATE ALL EXISTING SERVICES WITHIN THE VICINITY OF THE PROJECT SCOPE OF WORKS AREA PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION AND CONFIRM EXISTING LEVELS AND ALIGNMENTS.
  2. THESE NOTES SHALL BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE NOTES ON DRAWING C001.
  3. ALL WORKS AND MATERIALS TO COMPLY WITH AUCKLAND COUNCIL STANDARDS AND WATERCARE STANDARDS. ANY AMBIGUITY BETWEEN THESE DRAWINGS AND COUNCIL STANDARDS SHALL BE REFERRED TO THE ENGINEER FOR CLARIFICATION.
  4. FOR PIPE BEDDING DETAILS, REFER TO STANDARD DETAIL SHEETS UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
  5. WASTEWATER PIPES SHALL BE 150mm dia. PVC SN16 UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE. (LOT CONNECTIONS SHALL BE 100mm AS PER WATERCARE STANDARDS). NOTES ON THE DRAWINGS SHALL TAKE PRECEDENCE, REFER DISCREPANCIES TO THE ENGINEER FOR CLARIFICATION.
  6. ALL PRIVATE DRAINAGE TO BE CONSTRUCTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE APPROVED CONSENTS.
  7. BACKFILL MATERIAL SHALL BE FREE FROM ORGANIC MATERIAL.
  8. ALL PIPE CROSSINGS UNDER ROADS AND DRIVEWAYS TO BE HARDFILL BACKFILLED.
  9. ALL MANHOLES ARE TO BE 1050mm DIA UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE.
  10. ALL SW AND WW 100mm DIA. LOT CONNECTIONS (RAMPED RISERS) SHALL BE EXTENDED INTO THE FUTURE LOT BOUNDARY AND BE CAPPED AT THE LEVELS SHOWN IN THE DRAWINGS, BELOW THE FINISHED GROUND SURFACE. THE CONTRACTOR SHALL PROVIDE AN AS-BUILT SURVEY OF NEWLY INSTALLED CONNECTIONS UPON COMPLETION OF THE WORKS.
  11. IT IS THE CONTRACTORS RESPONSIBILITY TO PEG OUT MANHOLES AND CHECK FINISHED EARTHWORKS LEVELS (MH LID LEVELS) PRIOR TO ORDERING MANHOLES. DISCREPANCIES SHALL BE REFERRED TO THE ENGINEER FOR REVIEW.
  12. PIPE GRADES SHOWN ON THE DRAINAGE LONG-SECTIONS ARE CALCULATED FROM MANHOLE CENTRE TO MANHOLE CENTRE.

Watercare Asset CCTV Pre and Post Inspections

Working on a property development or construction project sometimes entails installation, modification and extension of public drainage systems. As a result, you may be required to apply for a Works Over approval.  Typically, before proceeding with the project an engineer or Watercare representative will get involved to ensure compliance is met and to ensure that the process won’t put the Watercare assets at risk of getting damaged.  

As a drainlayer, we help you ensure that the condition of any public sewer system is investigated before or after any work takes place. The inspection procedure is carried out with CCTV equipment and still images.

Watercare Asset CCTV Inspection

Before Watercare Asset CCTV Pre and Post Inspections became popular, plumbers had to do open-cut excavations. While sewer excavations can deliver results, it can be a very intrusive process. It also consumes a lot of time and costs a lot of money. Unless you are 100 percent sure that the pipe damage is severe, you don’t need to opt for a sewer excavation service. 

A CCTV drainage survey is more than enough to help you find the root cause of your drain pipe problems in a residential or commercial property. It’s also the fastest, most practical and cost-effective way to inspect Watercare assets. 

How does CCTV Pipes Inspection work?

The process involves inserting a sophisticated camera to inspect the pipes. For larger pipes, like those used in sewerage systems, a CCTV tractor is used. For smaller ones, such as those used in Watercare assets, plumbers utilise a snake profile camera. 

As the plumber pushes in the camera inside the pipes, you get to check for possible problems such as clogs, cracks and leaks. You can either have the option to check the video feed in real-time or review it after the service with the DVD provided by the plumbing company. 

Typically, the video contains overlaid text containing details like the pipe name, street address, pipe diameter, pipe shape, date and time of CCTV inspection and depth of the access points. 

After the survey is done, the plumber will discuss the findings. Below are some of the key things that you can check via a CCTV pipe inspection:

  • Hairline cracks that affect the integrity and stability of the pipes
  • Bigger cracks that can affect water pressure and bring in sand and silt inside the pipes
  • Tree roots and other organic debris stuck inside the pipes
  • Punctures on the pipe due to previous renovation work
  • Corroded or severely damaged pipes and assembly joints
  • Location of other pipe joints and how to access them
  • Pests such as cockroaches and rats that poses risk for pipe damage and health issues

Timely or regular inspection of drain pipes through CCTV surveying can help you save a lot of money on repairs or other services. It can also help you find out what plumbing issues you need to address before proceeding with a construction, development, or renovation project. If in case the sewerage pipes in the property need work because of material buildup, you can avail a combo package which includes CCTV pre and post-inspection service and drain unblocking.

Beyond Pipe Repairs and Damage Mitigation

Besides coming handy in finding plumbing issues to fix in a property you already own, a CCTV drain survey can also be useful in other scenarios. For example, before you purchase a new property, you can have the pipes inspected to check for pipe problems. 

It will help you determine whether it makes sense to invest money in a certain property. Knowing potential or existing drain pipe issues would also allow you to renegotiate the price so you can make room for your renovation expenses.

A typical CCTV survey would only cost you hundreds of dollars per hour. It’s a good investment whether you’re a property owner or a property developer.  

The Drain Pipes are Damaged or Clogged, What’s Next?

If the CCTV survey indeed reveals that your pipes are damaged or clogged, your next priority is to plan your next step. You can figure out the approach to use, depending on the severity of the problem. For example, if the results show hairline cracks, you might need to have the pipes repaired to prevent further damage. If the pipe problem arises from material build-up then the plumber can use a different approach like hydro blasting.

How Does Hydro Excavation Work?

We offer Hydro excavation services, for cost or a quote, please give us a call. 

There are times when it’s virtually impossible to dig around underground assets such as water pipes, telecommunication cables and gas pipelines. Without a detailed map of your underground assets, you might end up dealing with costly damages. Hence, instead of using traditional techniques in excavation, it’s highly advisable to use hydro evacuation. It’s a fast, risk-free and effective digging method that can be used for both commercial and residential customers.

Drainage NZ offer Hydro Excavation Services

A brief introduction into hydro excavation

Hydrovacing or hydro evacuation was first introduced back in the 1880s when miners needed to utilise pump pressurized water to wash away debris and even large land masses. This technique allows for faster and more convenient way of capturing gold plus other minerals from the ores.

Fast forward to 1969, a more sophisticated tool was invented, which they referred to as ExcaVactor. A decade after, companies offering pipe excavation services started using sewer cleaners and vacuum trucks to conduct the hydro evacuation procedure. In some companies, it’s offered alongside solutions such as the sucker truck and unblocking services.

It’s a technique used in a lot of applications. Be it a residential property or a large commercial building, hydrovacing can come extra handy in excavating debris, removing damaged pipes and more.

What happens during a hydro

excavations?

Instead of digging the old-school way, hydro evacuation involves the use of pressurized water. Water is injected into the ground until the soil appear like a slurry mixture. Then, the workers need to feed the liquefied soil into the pipes of a sucker truck. The powerful vacuuming tool is strong enough to remove around 70 feet of liquefied soil.

The best part about this process is it works for any type of soil. Be it a loose garden soil, a mixture of silt and clay or even frozen ground, you can have your pipes or other underground assets dug up safe and fast.

What are the benefits of hydro evacuation?

Choosing hydro evacuation over the old digging method can help you solve all kinds of problems without risking infrastructure damage. It also provides you with a safer way for you to uncover defective underground assets. On top of that, it offers a lot of perks including:

  • Reducing cave ins resulting from the disruption of the surrounding soil
  • Faster completion of your excavation project
  • No need to use additional equipment because only water, air and sucker truck is required
  • Zero to minimal damage to pipes or other underground assets
  • Does not require additional workforce to remove soil underneath the excavation site
  • Works for a variety of soil types including permafrost
  • Can be used in hard to access locations because truck can be positioned at most 100 feet away from the site

Applications of hydro evacuation

There are many ways you can maximize the use of hydrovac. Here are some of its most common applications in both residential and commercial properties:

  • Excavation of tight spaces – Sometimes property owners have a hard time excavating because of their cramped space. Good thing, tight spaces are not an issue when hydro evacuation is used. The equipment can be placed in a distant area during the service so the workers have enough space to work on.
  • Removal of debris – Dealing with debris stuck in pipes and manholes can be quite a nightmare. With hydrovac, you get to remove debris before they even get stuck inside the drain or pipes.
  • Excavation during cold season – Working during the cold seasons comes with a lot of health hazards. However, sometimes issues such as frozen or burst pipes just happen. Thankfully, you have a better and more hassle-free option to dig up your damaged pipes. Hydrovac works seamlessly even with completely frozen soil.
  • Slot trenching – Widen trenches safely and quickly with hydrovacing. It will help you find utility lines more conveniently and safely if you use pressurized water to dig and widen trenches.
  • Potholing – Need to check underground facilities? You can do so without risking the integrity of the building’s structure. Hydro evacuation eliminates risks and allows you to work in congested areas.
  • Setting of poles – If you need to some pole drilling work done, booking a hydrovac service will also come extra handy. Hydro evacuation is the most highly recommended method to use in setting poles.
  • Utility and pipeline crossing – Working in an area with many pipes and utility crossing is a tricky process. One wrong move can result in very expensive repairs. This why it’s better to make use of hydrovac. It’s a simple yet sophisticated technique that help you move forward with work at a faster pace.

Hydrovacing is perhaps one of the most efficient methods used to excavate materials today. It’s works fast so you’re sure to get your project done within your projected time frame. The service is also made cost-effective so you enjoy more value for your money. Call Drainage.nz today for your hydro evacuation needs.

Unblocking A Stubborn Drain – How Experts Deal with Clogged Pipes

Dealing with blocked drainage can be very cumbersome. However, it’s important to get it done as soon as possible to avoid paying for expensive repairs. With a clogged sewer line, waste water can’t flow down the line drain. Instead, the water flows back into the pipes inside a house or a commercial building. For many people, this means trouble, especially when the waste water starts damaging the property and leaving an undesirable scent.

Causes of a clogged drainage

Clogged drain pipes are perhaps one of the most common issues faced by many property owners. And there are plenty of reasons why this happens. Here are some of the common causes of a blocked drain:

  • Hardened grease, oil, fats and decaying food particles
  • Chemical buildup from bathroom products such as toothpaste, soap, and shampoo.
  • Flushed toilet paper, paper towels, wet wipes and sanitary napkins/tampons
  • Soil or construction debris during a home renovation project
  • Deteriorating plants or leaves during autumn
  • Offset drain pipes, especially in old properties
  • Mineral buildup inside the pipes because of hard water

Signs your drain is blocked

It’s not easy to figure out when a drain pipe gets blocked, mostly because the system is underground. Most of the time, people don’t even know that they have blocked drainage until the damage is beyond repair. Thankfully, there are some key telltale signs that your drain is blocked:

  • Unpleasant smell coming from the drain – One of the most obvious signs that you have a clogged drain pipe is foul sewage odour. Organic matter breakdown releases unpleasant smelling gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and nitrogen.
  • Toilet won’t flush or the water level is too high – You know there’s something wrong with the drain pipes when the water in the toilet bowl looks abnormally high.
  • You hear a gurgling sound from the pipe – A gurgling noise coming from the plug hole, drain and toilet bowl can also denote that there is a buildup of grease, dirt or other material in the drain.
  • Water keeps on backing up to your tub, sink and shower –
  • Water on the kitchen, laundry or bathroom floor –

Dealing with a clogged drain

If you see any of the signs enumerated above, you need to act fast. It might be worth it to use DIY remedies to unclog the pipes, especially when the problem is not that serious. After all, who doesn’t want to save a few dollars on a survey.

However, most of the time, it’s more practical to call in a drain unblocking professional. It saves you time and money, plus you don’t need to figure out your problems on your own. With the help of a trained plumber, you get to the bottom of the issue fast and you prevent other expensive problems to arise.

Here are some of the ways that experts use to unblock drain pipes:

  • Mechanical unblocking – The standard process to deal with a blocked drain involves the use of equipment such as motorised drain snake. The service charge starts at $295.
  • Camera inspection – There are some instances where plumbers need to use a camera to inspect drain. With CCTV drain survey, plumbers get to identify what is blocking the drain.

Hydro blasting – Hydro- jetting or hydro blasting is a technique used to clean or clear out surfaces or pipes. It involves the use of highly-pressurized water to dislodge materials.

For severe cases, you may need to avail additional services such as pipe excavation. The process involves the removal and replacement of the blocked pipes. The service can cost around $229 if its a basic dig up and replace.  

Besides dealing with the blockage, you should also consider having your pipes cleaned on a regular basis. You can book a sucker truck service for $207 so you can get rid of organic matter accumulating inside the drain pipes.

You can also install sediment water filter cartridge to minimise the amount of soil, rocks, and silt accumulating in the drain.

Lastly, if you make use of an underground grease trap, see to it that you have it cleaned every once in a while. Without a clean grease trap, more fat, oil and grease or FOG end up in the drain. And overtime, they accumulate and cause plumbing mishaps aka blockaghes. 

How to prevent clogging of drain pipes

Clogged drains are quite annoying but at the same time, preventable. After a plumber restore it to good condition, your next priority is to keep it that way for a long time. It will help you avoid trouble plus paying for additional or follow up services. Here are the simplest and most practical ways you can keep your drain clear:

  • Never dump leftover food in the sink
  • Allow liquid grease to cool and have them disposed properly
  • Do not pour fat or oil in the kitchen sink
  • If the main line supplies hard water, use a water softener to prevent material buildup
  • Utilise hair catcher on the drain to prevent hair from getting into the pipes

Book a drain unclogging service today!

Notice signs that your drain is blocked by material buildup? Have your drain pipe inspected fast! Find out what’s causing the issue so that you know the best approach to use with the help of Drainage NZ. Failure to unclog your drain on time can cause all sorts of issues that can cause long-term and expensive damage to your property. Start mitigating the issue today!

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

What Is the Difference Between Sewage and Sewerage?

Introduction

In our day-to-day lives, all of us normally wake up fresh out of bed, brush our teeth, take a bath, eat our breakfast, wash the dishes, water our plants, and so much more. Well, have you ever noticed that most of what we do every day requires the use of water?

Are you aware of the fact that every time you turn on the faucet, the water you most likely use will go down the drain to somewhere most of us don’t even know anything about? We just wash our hands, look at the water drain, and turn it off.

How Drainage Works

The process of draining water is way more complicated than you think. The water runs down a hole, into small house pipes, into bigger council pipes, for many kilometers to then arrive at its destination.

In most cases, not everyone knows the difference between sewage and sewerage. Is it the same thing or two completely different things. Today, we are going to look at what those two words really mean, as a learning matter and something that may benefit anyone searching for a definition.

What Is Sewage (the poo)?

Before the 20th century, sewage was usually discharged into a body of water such as a stream, river, lake, bay, or ocean. There was no treatment, so the breakdown of the human waste was left to the ecosystem. Now, the word “sewage” refers to liquids or waste matter usually carried off by sewers.

In the modern world, the word sewage is slowly being replaced by the word “waste water,” also meaning that any water that has been affected by human use, making these two words similar in the way that in the end, we humans produce waste that is to be carried out by any means of transportation, such as sinks, tubs, showers, dishwashers, clothes washers, toilets, pipes, etc.

It can be also referred to as domestic wastewater or municipal wastewater that is produced by a community of people. It is characterized by volume or rate of flow, physical condition, chemical and toxic constituents, and its bacteriologic status.

Sewage usually travels from a building’s plumbing either into a sewer, which will carry it elsewhere, or into an onsite sewage facility. Whether it is combined with surface runoff in the sewer depends on the sewer design.

The reality is that most wastewater produced globally remains untreated causing widespread water pollution, especially in low-income countries. As well as many developing countries the bulk of domestic and industrial wastewater is discharged without any treatment or after primary treatment. It may not seem like it, whether or not these are good for the environment or not, but once you see the fuller picture of how much the sewage actually helps us in our day to day lives, it makes a huge difference.

What Is Sewerage (what carries the poo)?

On the other hand, the word “sewerage” refers to the provision of drainage by sewers. Sewerage is an infrastructure that transports sewage, like storm water, meltwater, rainwater, by using sewers. It encompasses components such as receiving drains, manholes, pumping stations, storm overflows, and screening chambers of the combined sewer or sanitary sewer.

Sewerage opens an entry to a sewage treatment plant or at the nearest point of discharge into the environment. It is a system of pipes, chambers, manholes, etc. that holds the sewage from the waste makers above.

In American colloquial English, “sewer system” is applied more frequently to the large infrastructure of sewers that British speakers more often refer to as “sewerage”. Almost all the countries of the world have sewerages, but this does not mean that they are the best of ones.

Countries like New Zealand, Venice, and Amsterdam have a great sewerage, and on the spectrum, we also have countries like Bangladesh, India, and other third world countries that need help in making better sewerage’s for their citizens.

Conclusion

To sum things up, these two work hand in hand. One cannot work without the other and vice versa. A sewage is a part of a sewerage and a sewerage is a part of a sewage.

The simplest way to explain the two different words is this – sewage is the waste that is produced by people while sewerage is the structure that holds the sewage within its “stomach.” In the end, it is only us humans and the rain that uses these systems, and we need to make sure that these two things will be used correctly in our lives, making sure to clean the area properly, separating water-type waste and solid-type waste, so that it – the waste water – would be easier to recycle.

At Drainage NZ, we help you with your sewer and sewerage needs. We have over 20 years of drainage experience! We are experienced, qualified, and have all the toys to do anything that relates to drainage in New Zealand.

What Is Butt Welding and How Can It be Used Effectively?

There are several ways to attach two metal pipes together.  To choose which one to use, you must decide based on what is best or needed for the job at hand therefore it is vital to understand each method.  These methods are:

  • Threaded
  • Stab-type Fittings
  • Soldered
  • Brazed
  • Welded – Which has two types, namely : Butt Weld and Socket Weld
  • Saddle Fusion

Among these, Butt Welding is the most common of pipe welding joining methods.  This is commonly used for pipes which generally shares the same diameter.  This method is also most popularly used in commercial and industrial pipe systems. 

What Is Butt Welding?

Butt welding is when two pieces of metal pipes are joined together within the same plane.  This method requires some preparation and is used mostly for thin metal sheets, which need to be welded in a single pass.  This technique can be automated or it can be pieced together by hand on to the steel pieces.  Brazing can also be done under this method for copper pieces.  This method is used to attach two metal pieces such as pipes, framework in factories, and in flanges as well.

The butt-welding method is the preferred type for commercial purposes since it is more economical, as well as providing a strong fusion of the two metal pieces.  Also, it uses the least amount of welding materials and at the same time giving out a strong weld.  The automated butt weld process is the more favored process because of its ease of preparation and there is a low chance of adjustments in cases of non-ideal joint preparation because of the absence of human guidance.  It is expected that butt welds have the strongest welds with the least amount of imperfections. 

How Can Butt Welding be Used Effectively?

Butt welding is used when directional drilling so as to avoid joiners from sticking out thus making the thrust difficult.  A smooth flush finish outside the pipe is needed to enable the thrusted pipe to be pushed through without getting stuck.  Also this method does not need the metal piece to be welded together by having to bend everything and reinforce the structure which can then cost more than just welding two metal pieces together through this method. 

This method works best with MIG or TIG welding applications because of its ability to connect two metal pipes.  This method can be done by pressing the ends of the material together while a current is passing through them.  The temperature between the materials is high which softens the metal into a plastic-like state which them makes it fuse together.  When using this technique, it should also be noted that the diameter and thickness of the pipes and fittings should be equal as well as the material used. 

Advantages of Butt Welding

There are several advantages of butt welding among these are:

  1. It assures of its permanent leak proof quality and strength. 
  2. Having a continuous steel structure between the pipes and fittings gives the piping system better strength.
  3. The pipe fittings when used using this method gives out a smooth surface and a gradual directional changes thus making it decrease the pressure losses, the turbulence of the system and protecting it from corrosion and erosion.
  4. This method is more economical, which does not hurt the budget.
  5. Butt welding joints also offer smaller space in the system. 
  6. A weld can be made using this method in a wide range of sizes and complex shapes although both ends should be equally matching. 
  7. This can be used in a wide range of materials such as steels, stainless steel, aluminum alloys, nickel alloys or titanium. 
  8. Solidification cracking and porosity is usually not an issue.
  9. The butt welding process can be automatic or semi-automatic and monitoring of the welding process can already indicate the quality of the work.

How Can Drainage NZ Help?

Drainage NZ’s over 20 years of experience in this field can provide services together with their qualified drain layers. The team is certified, qualified, and registered, therefore, assuring clients that only the best services are offered with the highest of standards and in compliance with NZBC standards. 

Services include all aspects of drainage, such as driveway cesspits and channels, drain repairs, and drain unblocking in both residential and commercial drainage work.  Aside from these, the company is also offering its services in general plumbing and gas fitting works. 

Drainage NZ offers services in directional drilling works.  Their services include water distribution piping, fire protection lines, sanitary sewer piping, storm sewer drainage piping, gas distribution piping, landfill applications, irrigation applications, and electrical/telecommunications. 

There are also several reasons why horizontal directional drilling is used. One of the reasons is that there is lesser traffic disruption.  It also offers lower costs since there is no labor or concrete reinstating.  There is also a possibility for deeper installation, long installation is possible, job can be completed for a short period of time and lastly, it is safer for the environment.

For more information, just visit our website.

Test your house and basement areas for moisture.

Moisture issues can be a drag, especially if you’re just starting out in your new home. Usually, moisture problems are solved with the right foundations and wall treatment with the appropriate drainage system. If you need Auckland moisture testing, then you’ve come to the right place. We have our own specialized tools to test for moisture. Plus, we provide solutions that last a lifetime, not just for a few years.

Moisture testing can be tricky. You can Do-It-Youself (DIY) or hire experts to do it for you. Keep in mind that going down the DIY route may cause more harm than good if you’re not familiar with the task at hand.

These are the things we do during Moisture Testing in Auckland:

  • Pre-home-purchase survey home moisture testing,
  • Damp basement moisture tests,
  • Leaky home building testing, and
  • Post flood drying test.

Protect Your Family’s Health and Safety

Building moisture in any home or building is almost always at the top of the list of the most common problems uncovered during home inspections for buyers. Building moisture, especially in the basement and attic, is usually overlooked during home moisture testing. If you have moisture problems in your home, then you need to find an expert in home moisture testing.

Usually after flooding in an area, people tend to think that the surface looks and feels dry; hence, it must be dry. This is so far from the truth. Floodwater tends to get into everything – skirting board, wall cavities, jib, dry carpet, and flooring.

Even though the surfaces look dry and can be dried using dehumidifiers or fans, more often than not, there are moisture problems in these areas.

The truth of the matter is, the real problem is the hidden moisture, which can’t always be visible to the naked eye. Left unchecked, this will cause mold to grown in areas that you can’t see, which will cause damage to your house leaving rotting areas, long term mold, and unpleasant smells in your home. You will need the help of experts to dry your carpet, walls, and cavities.

Mould Testing and Removal

Excessive moisture in your house can lead to inconvenient and unwanted problems such as rotted framing, odors, foundation movement, structural pests, as well as allergy causing molds. In fact, some molds may cause cancer so you need to take this problem seriously.

Mold Moisture Test

Mold tends to grow in areas where it has food and water, which are usually found in buildings. The mold growth reveals the excess home moisture, which may be caused by leaking water pipes, flooding, and other building materials.

Mould Release Toxins Resulting In Health Effects, Including:

  • Allergies,
  • Asthma and Other Breathing Disorders,
  • Eye, Nose, and Sore Throat,
  • Skin Problems,
  • Fatigue, and
  • Headache

Moisture Meter Probe Tests

Moisture probes and no evasive moisture meters are effective for testing inside the building material or structure.

Here are 7 steps to manually check the moisture problem in your house:

1. Carefully check the wall surface.

Look for discoloration in the surface, including yellowing material or rounded brown spots. Also, black discolorations that are often furry will indicate mold and mildew growths. Check also the wall texture for peeling paint, warping, or buckling surfaces.

2. Slightly push on the wall to check how it feels.

Drywall that’s moisture damaged will feel soft and spongy. Meanwhile, wood-sheathed walls might feel a bit solid, even if there’s a moisture problem. You can use a butter knife or screwdriver to scrape across the surface or poke into the wall to reveal damaged wood.

3. Smell-test the wall for moisture.

Wet wall interiors are the favorite environment for mildew and mold to grow. It’s dark and moist, with lots of food available for the fungus. The more moisture there is in your walls, the faster the mold grows, leading to wood rot. Musty smelling walls are sure sign of moisture problem. Get your nose closer to the wall interior by removing the faceplate from a wall outlet, which helps you discover the problem faster.

4. Drill holes into the wall.

You will need to drill two small holes, about 3/16 inches in diameter and about 1 inch apart, into the wall. You can work from the house interior or exterior both methods work. Outside, drill a hole that’s deep enough to pass through the siding without drilling into the exterior wall sheathing. Once inside, drill through the wall, past the vapor barrier and into the insulation.

5. Insert the probes from a probe moisture meter into the bored holes.

Turn the meter on.Then, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and read the moisture content display. You will need to adjust the probes to get a steady reading and accurate results. Take several readings, for instance, 3 readings in 30 minutes.

6. Compare the reading to ideal moisture levels.

Zero moisture is not practical or even realistic. Any wood that’s been used to frame a house should have a certain amount of moisture. Normal readings should measure around 7 to 13 percent moisture. In fact, slightly higher readings may be normal for your house. However,extremely high readings need immediate attention.

7. Fill the test holes if moisture levels are normal inside your wall.

Following the test, if visual and mechanical readings indicate normal moisture levels within your wall, fill the test holes. Then squirt colored or clear silicone caulk into the hole from outside to fill it and make it waterproof. Use wood putty or spackling compound and drywall tape to cover hopes inside the house. However, if your moisture test is positive, you need to tear off the wall sheathing to repair the wall interior, as needed.

You can do these steps yourself in a DIY manner. However, if you want professional Auckland moisture testing for basement flooding in your house or building, call us and we’ll send you a quote right away. We have our own specialized tools to test for moisture and provide solutions that last a lifetime. Book an Auckland moisture testing with us today.

We Build Rock Walls and Provide Concrete Services

Drainage NZ have been providing residential and commercial drainage services for over a decade successfully. Drainage works more than often require concrete cutting, driveway removal, and demolishing of existing landscape, including retaining walls.

Once all drainage works are complete, these areas need to be reinstated. What’s even more important is that reinstatement should complement the newly installed drainage system.

Whether it’s a new subsoil installation or a repair or replacement of storm water and sewer lines, these reinstatement and landscaping works need to be done correctly. This got us thinking!

Since we have all the expertise, machinery and manpower, we can offer our customers these services directly. We save you thousands of dollars and ensure a third-party contractor does not undermine the new drainage system.

As such, we have already started providing these services to dozens of clients to this extent and they extremely satisfied with the result! We officially offer the following service to New or Existing clients:

Volcanic Rock Walls

Also known as Lava Rock Walls, Volcanic Rock Walls are walls built from volcanic rocks. There are many ways to build volcanic rock walls. Many contractors use bigger rocks at the bottom and pile smaller rocks on top while others prefer to layer smaller rocks at the bottom and build the wall using bigger volcanic rocks on top.

These volcanic rock walls are lovely to look at and provide a wonderful backdrop for gardens and swimming pools. They are pleasing to the eyes and unique in their own rights. You will need access to lava rocks in order to build one.

You can use volcanic rock walls for your house. They offer a beautiful alternative to old-fashioned cement and concrete. Some people build desert houses using lava rock as their foundation.

Volcanic rock walls are gaining popularity in mainstream architecture as they provide a wonderful alternative to boring old walls.

If you’re thinking about building volcanic rock walls, there are a myriad of options found online that you can use for your construction plans. I suggest you explore those options first before you start building your lava rock walls. Better yet, call us and we will build your volcanic rock walls for you at an affordable price.

Concrete Driveways (Exposed Aggregate, Polished or Brushed Finished)

Concrete Driveways are a favorite of both professional installers and homeowners alike. Concrete slabs are durable and strong and they require little to no maintenance. They last longer than other materials, which is why most people choose to build concrete driveways in their homes and offices.

Concrete is more expensive than asphalt and gravel – although it is definitely cheaper than using cobblestone, brick, or concrete pavers. Concrete outlasts these other materials, making it the more practical choice if you want longevity and cost cutting in the long run.

You have three choices for concrete use: exposed aggregate, polished, or brushed finished.

Also known as decorative concrete, exposed aggregate concrete uses natural stones from quarries and riverbeds that are hand-seeded into a concrete base. It’s durability and classy look makes exposed aggregate concrete the perfect choice for patios, pool decks, walkways, driveways, commercial entryways, etc.

Polished concrete is processed using a series of mechanically ground polishing or grinding steps similar to terrazzo production. Polished concrete is an eco-friendly, “green” flooring system that’s LEED approved.

Brushed finished concrete is a type of finish that is in contrast to finished concrete, which has a smooth finish. Although smooth finished concrete is standard, more and more builders now go for the brushed finished concrete finish.

Whichever you choose, we can do it for you.

Concrete Cutting and Removal

Concrete cutting and removal requires that the area is cleared of debris and other objects that may hinder movement of the people involved. Items that may be damaged by dust or concrete fragments need to be covered with protective sacks or mats.

You can cut and remove concrete yourself using a sledgehammer. However, you will need to be very careful as accidents may occur using power tools. You need to break down the concrete into smaller parts to be able to remove it. You also need to cut away steel reinforcements. After that, you will need to remove and dispose of the concrete that you have unearthed.

Cutting and removing concrete may require professional help as you need someone who knows how to handle the power tools needed to cut and remove said concrete. You will need to hire an expert to do this for you.

We provide this service for you at a low cost. We will cut and remove any concrete material that you wish to eliminate from your premises.

Paving and Soakage Capable Landscaping (To Accommodate Subsoil Drainage)

Pavements are outdoor floor or superficial surface covering. Paving materials include concrete, asphalt, stones like cobblestones, flagstone, and artificial stone, tiles, or bricks.

Landscape architecture categorizes pavements as part of the hardscape used on patios, road surfaces, courtyards, and sidewalks.

Soakage Capable Landscaping allows for the disposal of storm water through a private in-ground soakage system to be maintained by the property owner.

Soakage systems require an overland flow path that caters to the storm water overflow in accordance with the design standard requirements for soakage systems.

Paving and soakage capable landscaping is designed to accommodate subsoil drainage in your area.

We also provide paving services. All you have to do is ask.

Surface Water Management

Surface Water Management is designed to prevent surface water flooding, which occurs when heavy storms overwhelms your local drainage systems and capacity.

Surface water management requires coordinated action by people and groups who manage land, river, and drainage systems in your area.

This project investigates local flooding from drains, sewers, runoff from land, and groundwater during heavy rainstorms in your area.

Surface water flooding happens when rain brought about by heavy storms overwhelms your local drainage systems.

We provide surface water management as one of our services. You can count on us to help prevent flooding in your area by installing a drainage system that can handle surface water flooding.

As it happens, every job we complete requires some final touches, which include some of the services listed above. Our prices are extremely sharp and our finishing is exquisite!

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