Choosing Your Basement Drainage System

Dealing with the rain in St. Louis, MO, is a hassle. The last thing you want is for water to get into your basement.

The good news is that interior and exterior drainage systems will both work to keep your belongings free of water damage. Which of these systems should you invest in, though, and how will each of them work to help you retain the value of your home?

Interior Drainage Systems

Before choosing which drainage system you want to work with, you need to determine where the leak in your basement is or may come from. Sometimes, small ceiling leaks can be spot-treated. If you have a leak near the joints of your home, though, you’re going to need to break out the big guns.

Leaks around the joints of your home are typically formed when the soil around your home starts to shift. During and after heavy rains, the soil around your home will expand to accommodate the rush of water. As a result, your home will be exposed to more hydrostatic pressure than usual. If that pressure continues to press against your home for an extended period of time, then the materials supporting your basement may start to crack.

To prevent water from reaching the belongings you have stored in your basement, you’ll want to install an interior drainage system. This system, which usually consists of interior drainage tiles and a French drain, work to actively collect water and direct it to a sump pump system.

Contractors will be able to install all of an interior drainage system’s working parts within one to two days. During that time, your contractor will:

  • Create open space around the foundation of your basement floor.
  • Install non-clogging pipes in the subfloor to collect the water.
  • Fill in the pipes for improved security.
  • Refill the opened floor.

It’s best to let professionals do this work, as DIY-ing can do more harm than good. By letting a professional work during the installation process, you can permanently keep floodwaters out of your home.

Unfortunately, though, interior drainage systems do have their flaws. Larger homes will be more expensive to waterproof. If you suspect your foundation may be leaking, you’ll want to talk to your local contractor about more comprehensive solutions.

Exterior Drainage Systems

If you’re not content with an interior drainage system, you can always take things outside. Exterior drainage systems are inexpensive to install around new homes, and they take advantage of drainage tiles similar to those you would use in your basement.

An experienced contractor will be able to install your exterior drainage tiles over the course of one or two days, depending on the size of your home. The installation process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Contractors will excavate the foundation of the home to allow for ground work.
  2. Afterward, contractors will install wall membranes to the foundation’s exterior walls.
  3. Contractors will then install PVC pipe to collect and redirect water.
  4. To clean things up, contractors will then fill in the excavated foundation appropriately.

Exterior drainage tiles will work to keep your home dry for years after their installation, making them a cost-effective investment when you’re first building your home. Unfortunately, though, it’s significantly more difficult to install exterior drainage tiles around older homes. Be sure to talk to your contractor if you’re looking for ways to waterproof a pre-existing home. If you don’t, you may find that your initial investment was a waste of money.

Drainage Systems and Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are part and parcel of any drainage system, whether you install inside or outside your home. What, though, does a sump pump do, and how does it work to keep your home dry?

Like the French drain, sump pumps physically remove water from your home. Unlike French drains, though, sump pumps don’t aimlessly redirect water onto your lawn. Instead, sump pumps store the collected water from the interior drainage system and then pump it out of the basement through discharge lines. Those lines are directed to drain far away from the home to keep the water from immediately flooding your home again. This prevents the floodwater from running straight back toward your basement.

As mentioned, both interior and exterior drainage systems benefit from the presence of a sump pump. Sump pumps are able to pick up the slack where other waterproofing solutions may fail, and they aren’t all that expensive to install. That said, do talk with your contractor about costs before committing to a sump pump installation.

If you’re worried about the resale value of your home, or you just want to enjoy the St. Louis, MO, rain stress-free, consider installing an interior or exterior drainage system. With these waterproofing solutions on hand, you’ll be able to reclaim your home. Contact a local contractor today for a free inspection and estimate.