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Should You Install an Interior Drain or A Sump Pump?

The sump pump and the interior drain are cousins, but what's the difference? Can these tools stack to keep your basement dry?

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When it comes to protecting a home in the Columbia, SC, area, you need to explore all your available waterproofing options. It can be difficult, however, to determine which of those solutions available to you may suit your needs best. For example, sump pumps and interior drains can look similar to the inexperienced eye. While these two waterproofing systems are related in many ways, they do differ in the ways they can protect your home from a substantial loss of value. 

To learn more about the differences between these two systems – and whether they can play well together – you can reach out and speak with a professional basement waterproofing contractor in your area. 

Installed sump pump and drains

What Do You Need to Know About Sump Pumps? 

Sump pumps are the heavy lifters of the waterproofing world. These machines help you pump water out of your home and away from your foundation. This way, they can keep water from getting back into your home and causing more unintentional damage. 

To install a sump pump in your home, the contractors serving your area will need to:  

  • Lay drainage pipes around the perimeter of your home. 
  • Find the spot in your home that gathers the most water. 
  • Drill weep holes around your sump pump’s base, if appropriate. 
  • Test the sump pump’s float switch. 
  • Dig out a spot for the sump pump. 
  • Install an interior filter to prevent silt and other obstacles from clogging the pump. 
  • Connect the pump to drainage pipes beneath your home. 
  • Fill the excavated hole with gravel. 
  • Cover the gravel with a new layer of concrete. 

Unfortunately, sump pumps do have their weaknesses. These waterproofing measures rely on electricity to operate, meaning that your home may be at risk of substantial flooding should the power go out. You can speak with the contractors in your area, however, about installing a battery backup alongside your pump to protect it from this kind of outage. 

In the same breath, you’ll need to note that a sump pump works best when confined to a specific part of your basement. These kinds of waterproofing measures on their own cannot provide your home with comprehensive waterproofing but instead make it possible for you to deal with your home’s problem areas. 

What Do You Need to Know About Interior Drains? 

Interior drains, as mentioned, are cousins to the sump pump. Unlike the sump pump, they provide you with comprehensive waterproofing coverage, protecting your entire basement from superficial flooding.  

To install an interior drain in your home, the contractors serving your area will need to:  

  • Excavate the interior of your basement, leaving at least one foot of clearance. 
  • Tap and bleed (or leave weep holes in) the walls to allow any existing moisture to drain out. 
  • Install slotted drainage pipes and cover the laid pipes with gravel. 
  • Connect the installed drainage pipes to a sump pump to move water out of your home. 
  • Re-cement your perimeter. 

Note that for all of their benefits, interior drains are not the perfect waterproofing measures you may be looking for all on their own. While they collect leaking water from the walls and floor before it can reach the rest of your basement, that water needs somewhere else to go to ensure that it does not end up elsewhere in your home. Yes, you need to invest in interior drainage, but you will also need extra protection from additional waterproofing measures. 

Should You Use Both A Sump Pump and An Interior Drain? 

There are benefits to using each of the above-mentioned waterproofing measures. If you’re dealing with substantial flooding on a consistent basis, however, you may find yourself wondering: Is it a viable option to invest in both? 

The short answer is yes! These waterproofing solutions are meant to stack with each other. Once your interior drainage system collects leaking water, where is that water going to go? It can’t just sit in those channels under your floor. That would be dangerous and unhealthy. Instead, this water needs to be directed to a sump pump so it can be properly removed from your home. So, each measure is not meant to work without the other. It is crucial for you to invest in both an interior drainage system and a sump pump system for comprehensive basement waterproofing coverage. 

Waterproofing your home does more than make day-to-day life more enjoyable for you and your family. When you invest in comprehensive waterproofing measures, you can preserve your home’s overall value. The professional contractors serving your area can help you determine which of the available waterproofing measures may best suit your needs. After a home inspection from the expert team at Mount Valley Foundation Services, you can look over a free personalized services quote to better understand what kind of means you may want to take advantage of.

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1850 Ashley River Rd
Charleston, SC 29407

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2110 Commerce Drive
Cayce, SC 29033

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Spartanburg, SC 29306