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Drainage Systems: Exploring Your Permanent Waterproofing Options

Basement drainage systems

Dealing with water in your basement is a hassle, but researching waterproofing solutions can be even more tedious. If you want to protect your basement in the long term, you’re going to need to install a drainage system.

There are two types of drainage systems your local Charlotte, NC, contractors will be able to install: interior drainage systems and exterior drainage systems. Both of these systems will benefit from the inclusion of a sump pump.

But which system is better for your home?

Sump Pumps: Why Do You Need Them?

Whether you’re waterproofing your home from the inside or from the outside, you’ll want to consider investing in a sump pump. Sump pumps work in tandem with your drainage system to protect your home from excessive water damage – thus their versatility and overall usefulness.

What, precisely, does a sump pump do? Like the French drain, a sump pump draws the water away from its leak and redirects it away from your home. Where a French drain will simply collect the water, though, a sump pump stores the collected water from the interior drainage system and then pumps it out of the basement through discharge lines. Those lines are directed to drain far away from the home to keep the water from immediately flooding your home again. This prevents the floodwater from running straight back toward your basement.

Why bother investing in a sump pump, though, when there are other more affordable waterproofing solutions and drainage systems you can use? Sump pumps are among the most long-lasting tools you can use to protect your basement. Not only that, but they have a reach that some other waterproofing solutions do not and are able to protect your foundation as well as your basement.

When in doubt, talk to your contractor about whether or not a sump pump is right for your home.

Internal Waterproofing

Along with investing in a sump pump, you are going to want to install an interior drainage system in your home, especially if you experience minor leaks and dampness.

Interior drainage systems target the leaks that form near the joints of your home. These leaks form when the hydrostatic pressure in the soil around your home grows too much for your support materials to bear. Your basement joints will crack in an attempt to accommodate that pressure, and in turn, you’ll have to deal with an influx of water.

To keep your belongings dry, you’ll want to take advantage of the many waterproofing tools a Charlotte, NC, contractor can make available to you. These can include French drains, as mentioned, drainage tiles and temporary sealants. The process of installing an interior drainage system, however, isn’t a hodge-podge of tool installations.

When you have an interior drainage system put in, your contractor will typically take the following steps:

  • Open up space around the foundation of your home by following the perimeter of your basement floor.
  • Install non-clogging pipes in the subfloor to collect the water so water released by shifting soil doesn’t reach your belongings.
  • Fill the pipes to prevent infestations.
  • Fill in the opened floor.

What are the benefits of working internally as opposed to externally? You can readily install an interior drainage system in both new and pre-existing homes. These systems are also permanent, making it all the easier for you to retain the value of your house.

That said, interior drainage systems aren’t perfect. The cost of installation will vary based on the size of your home, and without the inclusion of a sump pump, this system won’t protect your foundation.

External Waterproofing

If you experience more severe leaks, you’ll want to talk to your contractor about exterior drainage systems. These systems are ideal for new homeowners looking to pre-emptively protect their belongings from the Charlotte, NC, weather.

It typically takes a contractor between one and two days to install an exterior drainage system. Like the interior drainage system, your exterior waterproofing solution will take advantage of semi-permanent drainage tiles to redirect water away from your home.

To install an exterior drainage system, your contractor will:

  • Excavate the foundation of your home
  • Install wall membranes to your exterior walls
  • Install PVC pipe to collect and redirect water
  • Fill in the excavated foundation to visually erase the change.

Exterior drainage systems are inexpensive waterproofing solutions for homes that rest below sea level or that are built in areas that see more than their fair share of rain. However, it’s extremely difficult to install these systems around homes that have already been built. It’s possible to do so, but you’ll need to talk to your contractor before redirecting a chunk of your waterproofing budget.

You should enjoy living in Charlotte, NC – rainy weather and all. If you want to protect your home’s value, talk to a local contractor about the drainage system installation that will suit your home best. 

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