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How Drainage Systems Work

The Ins and Outs of Home Drainage Systems

Interior and exterior drainage systems remove the groundwater from your home during flooding, letting you reclaim your living space for yourself.

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When it comes to waterproofing your home, you have several options at hand. All of your waterproofing options, however, can be broken down into two categories: interior solutions and exterior solutions. Of these two categories, which will keep your home the driest? That depends entirely on the leak you’re working with.

With that in mind, how do these solutions differ from one another, and which should you consider installing in your Indianapolis, IN, home?

Interior Drainage Systems

Not all basement dampness is created equal. Sometimes, all you’ll have to deal with when the weather turns sour is a bit of precipitation around your windows and doors. Other times, you’ll find yourself taking a shop-vac to standing water.

Excluding severity, how do these leaks differ? More often than not, the most significant difference in leak type is based on a leak’s origin. Leaks that appear at your home’s joints form for different reasons than leaks in your foundation do.

Joint-based leaks are the result of excessive hydrostatic pressure. When heavy rains come to Indianapolis, IN, the soil around your home will expand to accommodate it. As a result, the soil will shift and close in on your home. The pressure that results from that movement will stress your home’s building materials and, in turn, will encourage cracks to form.

One of the best ways to cope with joint leaks is to install an interior drainage system. These systems use French drains and interior drainage tiles to overcome hydrostatic pressure buildup and work to direct water away from your home.

It takes an experienced contractor between one and two days to install a French drain and its accessories, including interior drainage tiles. The process usually involves the following:

  • Contractors create open space around the foundation of your basement floor.
  • Contractors install anti-clogging pipes in the subfloor to redirect the water.
  • Contractors fill in the pipes for improved security.
  • Contractors refill the opened floor.

While you can DIY this process, it’s strongly recommended that you leave the more extensive work to the professionals.
When paired with a sump pump, interior drainage tiles are among the most effective waterproofing solutions you can take advantage of.

If you’re not interested in waiting a day or two to waterproof your home, you can talk to your local contractor about other temporary waterproofing solutions. By investing in a French drain, interior drainage tiles or even a sump pump, though, you permanently work to keep water out of your home.

That said, the process isn’t perfect. If you have a larger home or larger leaks, it will be fairly expensive to waterproof your home.

Exterior Drainage Systems

What do you do, then, if you want more extensive waterproofing around your home? You look into exterior drainage systems.

Exterior drainage systems in Indianapolis, IN, look a lot like interior drainage systems. You’ll still have access to drainage tiles that’ll actively keep water away from your home.

Exterior drainage tiles take between one and two days to install, but the installation process is fairly straightforward. It typically involves:

  • Excavate the foundation of the home to allow for ground work.
  • Install wall membranes to the foundation’s exterior walls.
  • Install PVC pipe to collect and redirect water.
  • Fill in the excavated foundation appropriately.

Not only are they relatively inexpensive to install – especially if you’re just building your home – but they’ll continue working for several years after their initial installation.

That said, it’s not easy to install exterior drainage tiles around an older home. The tiles also tend to clog if they’ve not been properly installed. With that in mind, be sure to talk to your local contractor before investing.

Additional Options: Sump Pumps

Whether you go with an interior or exterior system, you’ll probably be installing a sump pump. Sump pumps are among the most effective waterproofing solutions you can use in your home. How, though, do these pumps work, and how will they keep water away from your belongings?

Sump pumps are cousins to the French drain, meaning they actively work to move water away from its leak and back out into your lawn. Instead of letting the water roam free, though, sump pumps store the collected water from the interior drainage system and then pump 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.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re installing an interior drainage system or an exterior one. Sump pumps make these systems more effective, and you’ll want to have one installed alongside your other waterproofing solutions. While installation isn’t expensive, be sure to talk to your contractor to see how much you’ll need to budget.

Interior and exterior drainage systems both help you retain the value of your home. Don’t wait for the leaks to start before getting one of these systems installed. The sooner you act, the better off your home will be. Contact a local contractor today for a free inspection and estimate.

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