How to Protect Your House from Iron Ochre


Iron ochre: What impact does it have on your home?

What is iron ocher? How does it impact your home? We’re here to answer your questions! While you might be thinking you land is somehow rusting, iron ocher is a phenomenon that’s a little more complex than that. It’s important to get informed on the matter when you notice it as iron ochre can quickly become a big burden for your home.

iron ochre

What is iron ochre?

Iron ochre is, at first glance, a reddish mud that closely resembles the color of rust. Though, it’s not just mud. In fact, it forms when bacteria that feed on iron that’s found in the ground’s soil comes into contact with air. The bacteria essentially oxidizes, causing a red/orange pigmentation. This essentially happens when there are slightly open spaces in your soil.

French drains are often the victims of iron ochre given their location. They can easily get clogged because of iron ocher, impacting the work the drain is supposed to be doing for your property (i.e. protecting it from water infiltration). Iron ochre can even make its way into your home and block your block your backflow prevention valve. 

iron ochre bacteria

What are the dangers associated to iron ochre?

Iron ochre does not pose more health problems than rust. It is in no way fatal if you touch it. Washing your hands after touching it is enough to remove the bacteria from your hands. Iron ochre only poses a threat to your home once it enters your French drain. 

By making its way into your French drain, the ochre prevents it from draining rainwater properly, thus putting your home’s foundation at risk of water damage. Not noticing any water damage in your home isn’t necessarily enough either. It can happen that your foundation absorbs the water that doesn’t get drained.If that’s the case, you foundation weakens, which is sure to cause greater damages in the long run.

By blocking your backflow prevention valve, the ochre deposit prevents it from properly functioning in the event of a backflow. Thus, in emergency situations, not only will water make its way into your home, but so will iron ochre. This definitely isn’t something you’d like in your home.  

brown water problem

How to protect your home from iron ochre

There are several solutions that one can take to protect their home from iron ochre. While these solutions do not completely get rid of the issue, they at least prevent your drain from clogging. Here are some solutions that can be carried out for you by 360° Verified Contractors:

  • Draining the iron ochre and directing it under the foundation slab
  • Adding a water repellent coating to the foundation
  • Adding a waterproofing membrane to the foundation
  • Raising your basement concrete slab & drain under it
  • Changing your property’s slope
  • Installing cleanouts (drainage chimneys) to your French drain & cleaning them out 
  • Filling in the gap between your concrete slab and foundation if there is one

How to get rid of iron ochre

Get in touch with us, and we’ll analyse the situation your in to help you save and protect your French drain from iron ochre. We’ll also take a look at how to better protect your foundation from it.

If you’re aware of an iron ochre issue, it’s important to act quickly. Otherwise, issues are likely to get worse over time. If unattended, iron ochre can take over your properly and make its way in many unwanted areas of your home. Even though it’s is naturally present in the ground’s soil, there are still easy-to-manage solutions to protect your home from infiltration. 

iron in drains

Get free quotes from decontamination experts

Our Renovation Advisors are here to help you get fairly priced quotes from qualified contractors. They’ll rally up to three 360° Verified Contractors to compete against one another and bid on your decontamination removal project. Their service is at no cost, no obligation you you! Call us or fill out our form today.

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