As I’m sure many of you have noticed we have been getting quite a bit more rain this summer than in summer’s past. This is causing more inquiries to our office this year related to moisture in homes, specifically in basements and crawlspaces.
There are two main ways to approach drainage systems around your home – one is to have a drainage system on the outside of your home, and the other is to have a system installed on the inside. Why would you choose one method over the other?
Exterior Drainage System: Weeping or drain tile is a perforated plastic or PVC pipe that surrounds the foundation of a home. It sits in a bed of gravel. This allows excess groundwater to seep into it. This water is channelled to a sump pump, or the sanitary sewer system, or the storm water sewer system, depending on the age of the home. Some homes built in older neighbourhoods do not have weeping tile. This may not be a concern if other drainage elements like gutters, lot grading, etc. are in good condition. Installing or repairing weeping tile can be costly but necessary in some cases. For example, weeping tile that is collapsed or clogged by debris should be repaired to prevent damage to the foundation and basement walls. You should seek professional advice from a plumber or qualified drainage contractor before making any decisions
Interior Drainage System: For a project such as this, professional basement waterproofers are recommended. They know how to design a system that won't clog, the best ways to direct the water, and how to install it while minimizing dust and debris in your home. One example of an interior drainage system is the WaterGuard system, available through Basement Systems. It is designed to sit on top of the footing and out of the soil under your basement floor, so it will never clog. It also has a special wall flange that creates a clean-looking space between the floor and the wall to drain any wall seepage that may occur, without allowing dirt and debris from the floor to enter. Weep holes are drilled into block walls to drain water out of the walls into the system. Water enters the system via holes on the wall side and flows into the conduit to a sump pump system, other drain, or to the soil and stone underneath the floor. This interior drainage system intercepts water at the perimeter of your basement and drains it to a sump pump located in the lowest spot of your basement floor. The system will keep your basement floor dry
I can assure you there are upsides and downsides to both applications. First of all if you have a home that requires a perimeter drainage system, if your basement or crawlspace is unfinished, it is by far the best approach to have the drainage system installed on the inside of the home. This does not require digging on the outside of your homes foundation which can often damage steps, driveways, patios and landscaping (since you have to dig around the home’s foundation to installed the exterior drainage system) as those are the normal types of things that are around your home.
For an inside drainage system all you would have to do is to move all the items that are near the outside walls into the centre of the basement or crawlspace to allow the drainage contractor to have access to the walls, which is where they will install the interior drainage system.
If your basement is finished and being used as living space, you are more than likely better off having an exterior drainage system installed, this method will not disrupt any of your interior finishing items such as flooring, drywall, mouldings, etc.
Proper drainage helps to:
Maintaining Your Home Drainage System
Don’t wait until there’s water in your basement before taking action. It’s good idea to evaluate the condition of your home’s drainage system – inside and out. If you find a problem, don’t put off the repairs. Consider most flooding on private property is caused by a home drainage issue. Follow these simple steps to prevent the danger of flooding. If you are unsure of what to do yourself, there are companies that specialize in Drainage Systems who can help.