From this yard I could look out and see the high Blue Ridge Mountains, yes ... but drains should not be the high point.
We have two sets of mountains here in Virginia - the Alleghenies (Blue Ridge) and the Shenandoahs. I have seen, and climbed, the Rockies out west. And for two years I lived more than two thousand feet high in the Andes Mountains of South America. Mountains are beautiful, mountains are fun and mountains are a high point.
But if you're a drain, and you are the high point, well, things will get very lonely.
Looking down into this stairwell I wondered why there was puddling and so much debris beside this drain.
After all, there is only about a 2" lip there before collecting water can get into the finished basement.
So it's important that water can flow from here directly to the sump pump to be sent elsewhere.
From the basement it is easy to see why this pattern has developed beside the drain.
THE DRAIN IS PLACED AT THE HIGH POINT!
Not only is there a little slope up toward the drain, which you can tell from the water pattern, but there is a lip around the hole so water can't really reach it.
A photo from below does not do this phenomenon justice, but simply looking at the pattern here describes the problem.
Just six inches more toward the door and this drain would be in the perfect, and lowest, position. Believe me - physics works!
My recommendation: it's a good thing they cleaned this staircase just before our inspection as without the moisture and mud pattern this drain issue would have been very hard to see. I was glad they made the problem obvious! On new construction inspections everything, really, everything, must be investigated. Just 10' from this stairwell is planted a leafy tree. That will also be a problem in years to come, which the client now understands too. Leaves clog drains!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560