Xpert Flood Control FAQ and Seepage FAQ

I have lived in my neighborhood for 18 years and have never had a flood in my basement until 2007, now it seems like every time it rains I get 6 to 8 inches of sewer backup. My question is why was I able to last 18 years, which in some cases had more rain and now I am getting sewer backup every year.

Kathy – Skokie, Il.

Kathy, thanks for taking the time to write, more than likely if you are not having problems with sewer backup during non raining conditions that are usually associated with broken sewers or extreme tree root infiltration, then the cause of your sewer backup is infrastructure flooding, meaning the sewers on your street are just too small to handle the extreme rains, I not only live in Skokie, but have also installed hundreds of flood control systems in Skokie, so chances are over the last few years there have been so many flood control systems installed in and around the Skokie area that the retention space for sewer backup that the new flood control systems have eliminated, is now affecting you.

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My catch basin has collapsed on my residential home in Niles, Il and I have received quotes of $6,000 and $7,000 to repair it, they also told me the sewer going out of the catch basin is broken and would cost me and additional $2,100, is this a fair price?

James – Niles, Il.

No! Absolutely not, although there are several variables to the installation of a catch basin, that price is extremely high for the Chicago metropolitan area or any area for that matter, a six foot catch basin in the Niles area with permits should cost no more than $3,800 and that is with the repair of the sewer line that you are being charged $2,100 extra for. You also have the choice of completely eliminating your catch basin at a much cheaper price.

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Our flood control system was installed in 2004 and we were flood free until the heavy rains of july 2011 when we suffered flooding through our back stairwell drain, our installer told us that the back drain did not backup but was probably overwhelmed with water and just did not drain. Is this possible?

Mary Ann. J. – Park Ridge, Il.

Although sewer backup will cause water to backup in the stairwell drain, it is unlikely that the flood control system was at fault, for the sewer backup to pass up the other drains in your house and just come up there is unlikely, the Park Ridge, Il area had extreme sewer backup in July 2011, we were at homes giving estimates for flood control systems that had 4 to 5 feet of water in their flooded basements, not even a few blocks from you, so if you just had clear water under the door, chances are the 4″ drain was either clogged or overwhelmed from water runoff.

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Why do some houses experience flooded basements while others do not, we flooded back in the May 2012 from sewer backup and have been getting prices for flood control systems.

Jack K. – Forest Park, Il

It has alot to do with your sewers depth, or where it ties in to the municipalities sewer, if your sewer ties in at 9.5 feet and your neighbor to the left ties in at 8.5 feet and your neighbor to the right ties in at 8 feet you will be the first to experience sewer backup. There are a few other causes, but the latter represents 90% of sewer backup or basement flooding issues.

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We experience water along every wall throughout our basement, is this a form of sewer backup, it comes in where the wall and floor meet, and how can we stop it? We are remodeling our basement and the contractor told us we need a drain tile system but it can only be installed outside and he wants to continue with his work, what should we do?

Sue Antonio – Norridge, Il.

Well to start with your contrators is half right, it sounds like seepage, but to put a drain tile system on the exterior is not only extremely expensive, sometimes 5 times the cost of an interior drain tile system, but also less effective. An interior drain tile system is by far, the most functional and cost effective way to go, I do not know your contractor, so I am only guessing, but chances are he just wants to finish his job and get paid, and doing that would be a big mistake on your part. The average price of an interior drain tile system for the average sized home in Norridge, Il is about $4,900, the same work outside would be $2,100 and that’s without replacement of shrubbery, sidewalks, driveways, stairs etc. etc.

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We purchased a flood control system for sewer backup in the Morton Grove, Il area but found out after signing that a lot of the required village codes for the installation are marked down as “additional charges if required” to the bottom line price and our flood control is now costing $1,300 more than the price we quoted. Can anything be done about this?

Tom Cumming – Morton Grove, Il

I am not a lawyer, but businesses that use this practice are on the uptrend. At Xpert Flood Control and Seepage we use the term “all inclusive” on all our sales contracts for flood control and drain tile systems and give a price for the complete job from start to finish, if a contractor works in the village or city where you are installing flood controls or drain tiles he should know what is required, so the term “if required” is bogus, water line reroute, power rodding, electric, rod out stations, basin type, are all essential to the proper installation of a flood control system and are required by most cities and municipalities in the state of illinois we consider that practice to be quite disingenous to say the least if not fraud and a call to Lisa Madigan’s office of consumer fraud would surely be a wise idea for a flood control or drain tile customer who feels they have been mislead.

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I had a flood control system install a few year ago, should my system be serviced?

Marc C. – Lincolnwood, Il

Absolutely, without service, systems will fail. Pumps, gates and sewers are used 365 days a year 24 hours a day, it is probably the most important thing you should do from a home maintenance prospective. At Xpert Flood Control we charge $85 for our annual maintenance, this includes a 7 step process that insures the functionality of your flood control from sewer backup for years to come.

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Will drain tile help with sewer backup, and how do I know the difference between the two systems, drain tile and flood control.

Colm Murphy – Hardwood Height, Il

No! Drain tile is for hydrostatic pressure and wall seepage if used in conjunction with sheet drain, where as flood control is used for sewer backup, that is, water coming up through drains inside your basement, if your basement flooded from sewer drains flood control would be required to stop it.

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I use stand pipes in my basement for sewer backup, but last year during the heavy rain water was coming up through my basement floor because my drain tile pump could not handle the water, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Ahab – Skokie, Il

Chances are your drain tile is fine, what might be happening and is a common problem with stand pipes that are used for sewer backup, is a phenomenon called pressurized sewer, this is when sewer backup leaks out under the floor through the sewer tiles and overwhelms the drain tile, also as you stated it was coming up the center of the floor, this is common and is called hydrostatic pressure the only way to stop it would be to install a flood control system to prevent the over pressurization of the sewer and protect you from sewer backup from the outside of your home, as far as the drain tile is concerned I think once these pressures are relived everything will go back to normal, drain tile is not designed to deal with sewer backup, it is used for naturally occurring water that raises up from your water table under your basement floor.

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I have recieved several estimates for flood control systems in the last 6 months, but my neighborhood seems to be split between Xpert Flood Control and Parks Plumbing, I see the both of you installing all over the north west side of Chicago and suburbs, my question is about Park Plumbing, what makes your company better?

Alex K. – Park Ridge, Il

I know the people from Parks Plumbing they are a good company and have been in business for many years Joe who recently passed away was a top quality person, the company is now ran by his son Jeff, other than being a competitor I do not know Jeff that well, but if he is anything like his dad he is probably a stand up guy, as far as your decision on flood control is concerned Xpert Flood Control has reviews on Angies List and has an A+ rating with the BBB and would love to do the job if you so decide.

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My catch basin has collapsed in our driveway on the north side of our home, what are the prices for something like a new catch basin.

L Goldstein – Skokie, Il

Prices for catch basin vary, based on depth, cover type, cement replacement, I drove by your house Thursday and looked at the job, but no one was home, a complete tear out would be about $3,200 complete with heavy duty cover and cement replacement.

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We were quoted a price of $11,200 for a flood control without electric, and told we would have to pay $500 up front to camera and locate our sewer, is this the industry average for flood control?

Cal Ortnas – River Grove, Il

That price is outrageous! and probably involves a lot of sub contracting, you are at $11,700 dollar without electric so figure $1,500 more and its $13,200 there are a lot of companies that advertise flood control but do not actually install them, so they hire sewer contractors, plumbers and electricians, some times they even sub contract out the excavation, that price is $5,000 too high.

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My pump on my drain tile system in constantly running, is there anything, I myself can do?

Terry M. – Harwood Heights, Il

Yes! first check to make sure the switch is not set to low, if it is adjust it by raising it in the sump, second check to see if the pumps switch is getting stuck on the side wall of the sump if so center the pump in the sump and tighten up the slack on your pump’s cord and last and final make sure that the issue is not a broken water line or a high water table with is possible but less likely than the aforementioned.

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We have recently had a Eveready system installed, what is your opinion of their system?

Caren Atis – Elmwood Park, Il

They are a good company and have been around a long time you can’t go wrong with their system, it is a balanced valve similar to ours. Good luck!

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Why do drain tiles have holes in them, and if functioning properly why would I be getting seepage?

Jim – Winnetka, Il

Well I would have to look at it, drain tile has holes in it so that the water table under your floor can relieve its pressure, if it is an old drain tile system they might not have used sheet drain, and without this product water from wall cracks can not get in to the drain tile and manifest itself on the floor. Give me a call and I would be glad to take a look.

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We get water in our basement everytime it rains, it gets worst every year we were told we need a drain tile system by several contractors, the problem seems to be just in one area its in the middle of the basement on the north wall so my question is, is there anything else we could do besides drain tile, it seems like tearing up my basement and spending $10,000 is extreme for such a small area of seepage.

Carl M. – North Riverside, Il

First of all $10,000 seems awful high the average basement in the North Riverside area is about 120 linear feet with brings the price closer to the $5,300 range, but more importantly, if you experience the seepage in just one area and it reoccurs every time in that same area, I would first have you remove the drywall, it is more likely the problem is a crack in your foundation and the resolution process should be epoxy not dain tile if its near a basement window I would say it sounds like a crack, if you need any help just give us a call and we will talk you through the process, Thanks and Good Luck.

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We recently purchased a house that has a Xpert Flood Control System and would like to have the system checked how much do you charge to check a flood control system in Wilmette, Il, several of our neighbors have experienced basement flooding due to sewer backup and we just would like a little piece of mind.

Mike Abascola – Wilmette, Il

Just call us at the office, we will check the history on your system and set up a service inspection, the cost is $85 a year.

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How long does a flood control installation take, and how backed up are you? I have a bungalow in Evanston, Il.

Jerry Avers – Evanston, Il

Flood Control Installations take 3 to 5 days depending on depth and soil type, electric location, and permit procedures for inspections, the wait for a flood control installation or drain tile installation averages 1 month at Xpert Flood Control, but could be longer after basement flooding events.

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