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install a sump pump to drain water from your basement

Basement Drainage: How to Pick The Right One For Your Home

The right drainage system can give you peace of mind and save you stress and money in the long run.

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Dealing with a cooler climate and the precipitation that comes with it makes it difficult for you to keep your basement clean and safe. When you’re dealing with this kind of Virginia weather on a daily basis, you’re going to want an effective drainage system going to work for you.

The process of waterproofing your basement can be completed without the installation of a drainage system. However, these kinds of waterproofing solutions are only temporary ones. If you’re experiencing more severe flooding, a draining system like a sump pump or a French drain will help you remove standing water from your basement quickly and easily.

install a sump pump to drain water from your basement

With that sense of ease in mind, let’s look at the kind of drainage systems you could bring into your home. These systems are guaranteed to save you stress and money in the long run – so why not consider them?

The Truth About Sump Pumps

If you’re going to install a drainage system, you’re going to need a sump pump. Sump pumps are the small pumps that hold the water drained from your basement. Whether you’re installing an interior or exterior drainage system, you’re going to need one of these pumps to make it effective. As such, be sure to budget carefully when moving into a system installation project. Talk to your contractor to see if there’s a pump already on your property or if you’re going to need one installed alongside the system of your choice.

Interior Drainage Systems

There are several different ways that your basement can flood, and not all flooding is the same. The most telling difference, when it comes to types of floods, is where the flood originates. For example, the flooding in your basement could begin at a cove joint, or a place where your basement’s floor comes in contact with a wall.

Flooding at these joint points is often a sign of hydrostatic pressure build-up. Put another way, the dirt around your basement is expanding thanks to increased levels of precipitation. As the water table beneath your home rises, the foundation of your basement endures excess pressure, and water starts to leak through.

This is where interior drainage tiles, or French drains, come in handy. In the case of cove joint leaks or other leaks like them, these tiles will be able to gather the water that otherwise would have gotten into your basement. From there, they’ll be able to redirect that water into your sump pump.

The installation process tends to take between one and two days, depending on the size of your home. This process will also require the input and guidance of an experienced contractor. In general, the process will play out as follows:

  1. Create open space around the foundation of your basement floor.
  2. Install drainage pipes to redirect the water.
  3. Fill in the pipes for improved security.
  4. Secure drainage fabric.
  5. Refill the opened foundation.

There are, of course, other temporary solutions you could implement to reduce the water damage and flooding within your home. However, seeking out a more permanent solution, like interior drainage tiles, has its benefits, including:

  • Permanent redirection of floodwater without interior leaks
  • Ease of installation in pre-existing or new homes

That doesn’t mean interior drainage tiles are perfect, though. Cons of installation include:

  • Cost, depending on the size of your home and the size of the leaks you experience
  • Reach, as French drains only remove water from your basement floor, without attending to the water that may seep into your foundation or through your walls

Exterior Drainage Systems

If you’re looking for an effective alternative to interior drainage tiles, why not move outdoors? The precipitation in Virginia sometimes calls for the kind of extensive protection external drainage tiles provide.

These tiles, like their interior cousins, work to remove excess water from your basement floor by redirecting it into your sump pump. However, because they’re based around the exterior foundation of your home, these tiles will also help protect your home from leakage through wall cracks.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution to your flooding problem, installing external drainage tiles is the way to go. The installation process typically takes between one and two days and typically plays out as follows:

  • Excavate the earth around the foundation of the home to allow for ground work.
  • Install wall membranes to the foundation’s exterior walls.
  • Install PVC pipe to connect the flow of water to a sump pump (be it newly installed or older).
  • Backfill the soil around the foundation appropriately.

As already hinted at, exterior drainage systems and tiles are often more effective waterproofing solutions than their interior cousins. The other benefits of their installation include:

  • Relatively inexpensive installation to new homes
  • Removal of water from the foundation of your home, ensuring its longevity and overall safety

That said, these systems are not perfect. Cons of installation include:

  • Neither easy nor inexpensive to install in older homes
  • A tendency for the systems to clog if not appropriately secured

The good news is that you don’t have to resign yourself to living with a damp basement. There are drainage systems available to you that will make your life easier once you install them. With that in mind, why not reach out to a local contractor? Before long, you’ll be able to reclaim your basement.

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