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Horrific floods in Ellicott City – Maryland and walk-up walk-down basement drain problem

Posted by Venkatt Guhesan on August 7, 2016

This past week, Ellicott City, Maryland had one of the worst floods in a long time. You can see some of the devastation that it has caused in this link. Fortunately, only my basement had a little bit of flooding. But interestingly, this has been the second flooding in over a month. This made me question the drain at the bottom of the walk-down/walk-up basement.

Here is a picture of the drain at the bottom of the stairwell.

20160731_191444As you can see the drain hole not the best and it gets blocked with just a few leaves and dirt. I have been clearing the dirt and leaves regularly but when there is a storm, the water floods down from the adjacent wall bringing with it debris which end up clogging the drain hole.

As a first fix, I tried this from HomeDepot. It’s called a drain trap. (shown below)

trap1Again this was good but it did not solve the problem. So I decided to try something different. I needed a frame that was at least 1-in tall giving the dirt a place to settle around it and not flow into the cavity. I also need it to be sturdy where the weight of the frame keeps the mesh/trap down to the ground even in moderate to severe thunderstorms. I searched online for a solution and after spending quite a bit of time searching through blogs, I decided to build one myself.

So here is the finished product:


Here are the materials I used to build this:

  • Chicken-coup mesh grill
  • four L-brackets
  • two tree stump posts cut to the size of the chicken-coup (to create a 1in thick frame)
  • Long plastic corner bead to keep the grill corners from cutting into me with rust over time
  • outdoor screen plastic to to add a second layer of filtering
  • Staple gun
  • Silicone used for household seals


Here is the frame upside down. It’s basically the wood is framed in against the chicken coop metal grill.

20160731_190524Corners are bracketed in to keep the frame together.

Added the finer outdoor plastic screen-door screen on top and kept them together with the staple gun. And the last step is to create a seal between the pavement floor and the frame.


And voila a gutter guard (that can hopefully withstand some rain). Keeping my fingers crossed.


I will keep this blog post updated as I improvise on my custom made gutter guard. Hopefully others can follow this blueprint and build their own gutter-guards.



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