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Waterproofing Your Home: Sump Pumps vs French Drains

Differentiating between waterproofing measures doesn’t have to be difficult. It takes time to familiarize yourself with all of the potential waterproofing solutions you can take advantage of. Once you’ve got the rhythm down, you’ll be able to talk shop with your local basement contractors.

The best place to start when learning about different popular waterproofing measures such as the sump pump and interior French drain. On paper, these two waterproofing solutions are fairly similar. In practice, however, each is unique and has its own function.

If you’re in the market for waterproofing solutions, which one of these will best suit your home?

Everything You Need To Know About Sump Pumps

When it comes to waterproofing your home, you’re going to want to use whatever means possible to limit your exposure to hydrostatic pressure. Luckily, sump pumps have a plethora of experience to back their waterproofing ways.

These electric pumps will remove water from your home that is collected by interior drainage pipes and can keep your basement dry even through severe storms. To install a sump pump, the contractor you hire will need to take the following steps:

  • If applicable, lay drainage pipes near the perimeter of your home.
  • Find the spot in your basement that collects the most water, usually the lowest corner.
  • Drill weep holes around your sump pump’s base, if determined to be appropriate.
  • Test the sump pump’s float valve.
  • Dig out a hole for the sump pump basin.
  • Install an interior filter to prevent silt and other obstacles from clogging the pump.
  • Set the sump pump inside the basin.
  • Connect the pump to drainage pipes beneath your basement floor.
  • Fill the hole with gravel.
  • Cover the gravel with a new layer of concrete.

It’s a sump pump’s power that sets it apart from similar waterproofing solutions. These pumps will protect the low-grade areas in your basement with ease. The water they remove from your home won’t just go back out into your lawn, either. Sump pumps are able to use a system of underground pipes to direct your water out onto the street or into the nearest drain. As a result, you won’t have to worry about your basement reflooding.

If the power goes out, your sump pump won’t be able to protect your home unless you are properly prepared. There are battery-powered sump pumps available on the market, but you’ll need to purchase one of these separately from your base pump.

Everything You Need To Know About Interior French Drains

French drains are catch-alls, and coupled with sump pumps, they provide you with more comprehensive coverage. These drains are placed in the sub-floor throughout the basement perimeter, and they are specially designed to catch seeping water from the walls and floor/wall-floor joint. Any water collected by this system is then directed to drain to the sump pump system, which pumps it out of and away from your home.

You’ll want to get in touch with a local contractor to discuss your interior French drain’s installation process. In general, though, you can expect your contractor to take the following steps to install your drain:

  • Excavate the interior of your basement, leaving at least one foot of clearance.
  • Tap and bleed (or leave weep holes in) the walls to allow any existing moisture to drain out.
  • Install slotted drainage pipe and cover the laid pipe with gravel.
  • Install wallboard over the trench and wall if applicable.
  • Re-cement your perimeter.
  • Attach the internal pipe to a sump pump system to move water out of your home.

Stacking Your Waterproofing Solutions

As we just mentioned, these solutions work best together, but is one solution really better than the other?

The answer to that question is highly individualized. However, if you’re not sure where to start, you can always talk to your local contractor about doubling up on waterproofing solutions. Many of the waterproofing solutions your contractor is likely to recommend, in fact, will stack with one another to better protect your home.

Whether you’re facing some dampness and moisture, spot-leakage, or seeping or flooding throughout your entire basement and want to make sure all your bases are covered, both a sump pump and an interior French drain may serve you well.

Want to take the necessary steps to waterproof your home? The professional basement repair contractors in Kansas City, MO, have you covered. Reach out today for a home inspection and a free quote on potential services.

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