Proper Basement Drainage
The basement of your home is truly the foundation of comfortable living. Generally all the important tools of keeping you comfortable can be found there — the heating and cooling systems, the main plumbing and electrical fixtures, cable boxes, and other basic apparatuses that help your house run smoothly. In addition, many people use the basement for storage, laundry facilities, extra living space including well-appointed entertainment rooms. No matter how you use the basement space of your home, you need to keep it dry.
Just as there are many uses for the basement, there are several ways to keep it waterproofed. There are interior and exterior waterproofing systems that can be installed at the time of construction of a new home or with an existing home. One of the key tools in any waterproofing system is to have efficient and effective drainage in place. You have to determine the correct system for your particular home City Wide Group can provide the appropriate advice to make that decision easier.
Basement drains come in a variety of shapes and styles to suit your property; weeping tiles (also known as drain tiles, perimeter tiles or French drains) — collect underground water and are buried in the ground. The tile drains away water into a solid pipe leading to a sewer line or sump pit where the water is then removed by a sump pump. There are submersible sump pumps and pedestal sump pumps and determining which one you should have installed depends on the quality, your budget and how long you can expect it to last. Figuring out which system installed should allow the water to flow away from your foundation.
A floor drain system is usually something that is included in home construction. It is a permanent fixture and should keep water from getting into your basement. You need to ensure it is not covered or clogged and your home maintenance schedule should include a visual inspection of the drains to ensure they are clear. If you find that your home did not have a drainage system added at construction or that it is not sufficient to keep your basement dry, you can have a drainage system installed along the walls of your basement either with a open gutter or covered with baseboards.
Beyond the floor drainage, you need to ensure your window wells are well maintained and have the correct type of drainage to protect your property. If snow and ice are allowed to collect in the window wells, they can cause cracks or fissures in the masonry or the window fixtures. Making sure any moisture that might enter the window well has a good way to flow out, is key to keeping these areas from creating a problem. Another item that might not be obvious to keeping your basement dry, is to inspect your gutter downspouts. Make sure the water they collect is directed away from your home’s foundation and not allowed to puddle near the base. Two more items to be included in your home inspection routine.
Having your foundation sealed is another method of keeping your basement dry. Water will be prevented from getting through any cracks or fissures in the foundation walls or floor. Just like other construction projects there is more than one option to waterproof your basement.
Exterior waterproofing involves having a trench dug around your property and down to the footings of your foundation. The foundation walls are cleaned and checked for defects and repaired with a expandable hydraulic cement. Then once smoothed, a Bituthene membrane is applied to the walls, the drain tiles system installed or repaired, and then they are backfilled with gravel and soil w. Window wells are either installed or repaired.
An interior waterproofing project involves excavating a trench as described above to allow for the repair or addition of a drainage system and then a drainage membrane is installed along the interior of the basement wall. A new layer of concrete is installed to match the level of your existing floor. This is a less invasive method of waterproofing and a less expensive option but can resolve drainage problems in your basement.
Having a dry basement is an important element in protecting the integrity of your home’s foundation and providing you with peace of mind. Having your basement waterproofed ensures you will have a dry basement. Making all these decisions about how to go about installing drainage or waterproofing can be made easy by calling the professionals at City Wide