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Exterior Drainage Pipes

A functional exterior drainage pipe is essential for the foundation’s health and your home’s structural integrity. Here is all you need to know about these drainage pipes.

Whenever there’s a downpour, your property may suffer from an overflow of rainwater. This water can drown your lawn or flood your property if not drained. It is estimated that 85% of all structural damage is caused by poor drainage

What’s the way out of this predicament? The best way to prevent rainwater from pooling around your foundation is to install drainage pipes. These fittings ensure your foundation stays dry and free of mold. 

What Is a Drainage Pipe? 

A drainage pipe is essentially a gutter for groundwater that is installed around the perimeter of your foundation walls. This perforated pipe is specially designed to provide optimal drainage for your property, significantly reducing the likelihood of basement flooding, structural damage, and related problems.  

Once your foundation is built, tar coating and drainage pipes with filter fabric are set in place on your home’s exterior to stop water infiltration into the basement. If the tar coating and drainpipes are functional and in good shape, they’ll prevent water from building up around your walls.  

The best time to install exterior drainpipes is during home construction. Afterward, installation will prove difficult as a contractor may have to dig all the way down to install them. 

How Do Exterior Drainage Pipes Work? 

Exterior drainage pipes channel water from downpours or floods away from the home before they cause water damage and other problems. These pipes are installed around the outside perimeter of a foundation. They usually consist of a flexible perforated pipe that is buried in a trench at the bottom of the foundation footing. 

These systems have perforations that allow water to enter or exit the pipe. This way, excess water gets drained away from your property. It’s possible to combine exterior drains with interior basement drains and sump pumps. Such an integrated waterproofing solution will protect your foundation from water damage. 

The problem with these exterior systems is that they can easily get clogged by silt or get crushed by the weight of the backfill above them. This can lead to water leaks in your basement. 

Features of a Good Drainpipe 

The right drainage system will give you peace of mind and save you thousands of dollars in repairs in the long run. Here are some qualities of good exterior drainpipes: 

Durability: Exterior drainage systems are exposed to the elements. As such, they should be made of long-lasting materials that can withstand harsh conditions.  

Sizing: A good drainage system has enough headroom to handle sudden downpours without compromising its performance. 

Proper installation: Exterior drainage systems have different components that are interconnected. 

Pros of Exterior Drainage 

Although drainpipes may be expensive to install and maintain, they offer many benefits: 

  • Prevents water accumulation: When water pools around your home’s foundation, it can lead to a host of issues, including wall cracks and mold growth, among others. Exterior drainpipes help to drain this water out and away from your basement, leaving you with a drier and safer home.  
  • Reduces soil erosion: Stagnant water makes soil muddy, which causes it to erode. These pipes maintain how much moisture is in your soil, preventing erosion.  
  • Removes toxic materials: After a heavy downpour, flash floods may occur. These floods bring with it a lot of contaminated water near your home. Drainpipes can solve this issue by draining the toxic substances away from your home.  

Cons of Exterior Drainage 

Exterior drainpipes also have their downsides: 

  • Labor intensive: Installing exterior drainpipes is more troublesome and involves removing and replacing landscaping, sidewalks, decks, and porches. 
  • High maintenance: Regular maintenance is a must to ensure your drainage system functions properly at all times. You must ensure your outlets are free from blockages caused by sediment buildup. You also need to ensure debris does not seal the inlet covers. If your pipes break, you have to replace them immediately.  
  • Clogs and fails easily: Washed-up soil and sediments can easily build up over time and eventually clog the drain. This will make the drain ineffective and lead to pipe failure. 

What are the Best Alternatives? 

Interior drainage systems like the BasementGutter™ system and sump pumps are longer-lasting alternatives to exterior drainpipes. Both systems are easy to install, safer, and more convenient than typical drainpipes on the outside.  

The BasementGutter™ system sits in the subfloor atop the footing instead of in dirt and mud. It collects any water that enters the basement and directs it to the sump pump, which ejects it outside. Ultimately, they keep your basement dry and protected from water damage. If you would like peace of mind knowing your home is properly protected and are interested in a reliable interior drainage system, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at JES Foundation Repair to schedule a free inspection and repair quote. Our professionals can evaluate your home, recommend solutions best suited to its repair needs, and maintain these measures so the foundation stays safe and dry.

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