Choosing a Drainage System for Basement Waterproofing

A basement is a wonderful part of a home, perfect for housing utilities, storing things, and perhaps even converting into a living space – that is, if it doesn’t flood. Basements are the most flood-prone part of a house because, generally, they are mostly or even completely below grade. Basement floods can lead to mold, mildew, and musty smells as well as other major issues. The best way to combat this is with basement waterproofing, usually accomplished with installing a drainage system like French drains that are either inside or outside of your home. But which is the better choice for you? Read on to learn everything you need to know.

drainage system

A drainage system is a fundamental component of your basement waterproofing system. But which kind is best for you?

Interior French Drains

Interior French drains are constructed by installing a perforated plastic pipe in a trench around the perimeter of the basement floor at the floor-wall joint. The pipe is covered with gravel to filter out any sediment carried in with the floodwaters, and then the pipe carries the water to a sump pump which pumps it out of the basement. The sump pump connects to an exterior drain pipe long enough to carry the water away from the foundation. The process of installing an interior French drain is labor-intensive, but not exceptionally long. Homeowners will have to move belongings away from the walls of the home to make space for a contractor to jackhammer out the concrete. Once the pipe and gravel are installed, new concrete is poured to cover the trench. Since the interior French drains are inside the home, they are easier to get to for maintenance, less prone to clogging, and less susceptible to damage. 

Exterior French Drains

Exterior French drains are constructed similarly: a trench is dug around the exterior perimeter of the home at the bottom of the foundation footing, then a perforated pipe and gravel are installed before the trench is filled back in with dirt. Water pools at the foundation and drains down to the pipe which carries it away either downslope (if your home is on a steep incline) or to a sump pump in the house. Installing exterior drains is more labor- and time-intensive. It is also often more expensive. Exterior drain trenches tend to need to be dug deeper and they may involve removing and replacing elements of the landscaping. Additionally, maintenance on the drains is more difficult because they are harder to get to, and the drains themselves are often more prone to clogging.

Contact All Aspects Waterproofing for Basement Waterproofing Today!

If you are ready to get a professional to waterproof your home’s basement, contact All Aspects Waterproofing, a Better Business Bureau A+ rated company with over 30 years of experience in the DC./Maryland/Virginia area. We have a great deal of experience in waterproofing, mold testing, and mold remediation, and we want to make you feel at home again. Contact us online or by calling 1-866-999-3110 or 301-766-4420. To see what we’re up to, follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterestYouTubeLinkedIn, and Houzz.


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