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Wide shot of the basement drainage system during the installation process.

A Homeowners’ Guide to Basement Drains

Does your basement often suffer from water damage? If so, it is time to learn about basement drains and what they can do for you and your home.

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We understand the stress and hard work that comes along with drying and cleaning out a flooded basement. Getting rid of excess water, throwing out damaged things, and scrubbing the basement top to bottom are a few tasks every homeowner would gladly avoid.

Unfortunately, there are other problems that come along with a flooded basement. Due to increased moisture and humidity levels, mold can quickly appear. Speaking of moisture, your basement doesn’t have to suffer a full-blown flood to become damaged. Increased moisture levels can wreak havoc on your home on its own.  

In addition to mold growth, increased moisture levels can also attract pests that are drawn to dark and moist places. Moisture can also lead to wood rot, which can eventually compromise your home’s structural stability. 

Luckily, waterproofing solutions such as basement drains can help keep your home and family safe. Here is everything you need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of basement drains.

basement drainage

Exterior Drain Tile

If your Raleigh, NC home is still under construction, installing an exterior drain tile around the outside perimeter of the foundation is a practical choice. This pipe will collect groundwater and direct it away from your property before it manages to cause any damage. 

After they have poured the foundation, your contractor will place a flexible perforated drain pipe around the foundation at the bottom of the wall. They will also place gravel around your pipe and above it. The purpose of the gravel is to prevent dirt from entering the drain.

The exterior drain collects the water that pools at the bottom of the foundation walls and directs it to a sump pit, from where it will leave your property. While exterior drain is an effective waterproofing method and it is relatively inexpensive when it is installed during the construction phase; it can be tricky to install once the home is built. 

If you opt for this option once your home has already been built, a contractor will need to excavate the soil around the foundation, dig a collection pit, and install the drain tile. This usually costs a lot more and can destroy sections of your landscaping.

One issue that many homeowners run into with exterior drains is that they tend to clog over time if the contractor does not use adequate gravel.

Interior French Drains 

If you have lived in your home for a while and have noticed that your basement has water problems, installing interior French drains is the best solution. While it works similarly to an exterior drain tile, the interior drain has more advantages.

It consists of a perforated pipe that directs the water to the sump pit from where it can be pumped to the surface and away from your home. Instead of placing it around the outside perimeter of your home, your contractor will install it along the interior perimeter of the basement below floor level. 

In some cases, drains are covered with a grate, while in other situations where the basement is used only for storage, they are left uncovered. Interior French drains cost much less than the exterior drains, and won’t disrupt your landscaping in any way. 

There are several distinct types of interior drains, each of them designed to address a different, unique problem. BasementGutter™ Below Floor Drain is installed below the floor slab, on top of the foundation footing. Why is this important? Since this is the mud-free zone, you won’t have to worry about clogging.  

This type of basement drain collects water that seeps through retaining walls and drains it to your sump pit. Regardless of whether you have foundation walls made of blocks or poured concrete, it’s beneficial to your home.

If you have iron bacteria in your water, you could use an IOS Basement Drain. Iron bacteria are notorious for leaving an awful smell behind, staining everything they touch, and creating clogs. This version of the BasementGutter™ system includes an extra-wide drain channel and larger drainage openings, as well as an exposed, removable lid for easier maintenance.

If your goal is to stop flooding from an outer entryway such as a garage door or doorway, BasementGutter™ Grated Drain Pipe will span the opening and prevent water from entering your basement. With Grated Drain Pipe, there is no need to worry about tripping since it is installed smoothly across the floor.

Floor Drains 

This type of basement drain is installed during the construction of the home, most often in the utility area. Its purpose is to drain away any excess water from the basement. Since the concrete floor around the floor drain slopes towards it, all the water is directed into the floor drain. This type of drain is extremely useful since it will lead water to a collection pit, regardless of whether you have a broken heater or a dripping condensation line. 

These days, installing a floor drain in your basement is considered a standard in new construction, so you don’t have to worry about any extra costs. However, if your home is already built, this drain is difficult to install. This is mostly because, during the construction of a basement, the contractor will create a gentle slope toward the drain. On the other hand, existing basement floors are level, so even if you install a floor drain, the water from your basement won’t run toward it. Also, the floor drain won’t prevent water from leaking through basement walls.

Are you interested in learning more about basement drains? Or maybe you wish to waterproof your basement? Whichever the case, we are here for you. Contact experts at Tar Heel Basement Systems and schedule a free inspection and quote.

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3400 Walsh Pky, Suite 220
Fayetteville, NC 28311

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Greensboro, NC 27405

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Raleigh, NC 27609

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Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

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Leland, NC 28451

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Winston-Salem, NC 27103