Struggling With A Wet Basement? Helpful Information About Foundation Drain Systems

Water in the basement is a problem faced by thousands of homeowners each year. While some water infiltration issues can be attributed to the use of inferior construction techniques or materials during the construction of the basement or foundation walls, other issues like the settlement of the home's foundation, deterioration of the foundation walls, site erosion, and landscaping issues can also play a key role.

In some instances, basement and foundation wall surfaces can be waterproofed through the use of coatings, sealants, or membranes to help them better resist the pressure of water infiltration. A more permanent solution is to install a foundation drain system capable of capturing and successfully moving water away from the home. Homeowners who are tired of struggling with a wet basement can use the following information to learn more about foundation drain systems. 

How foundation drain systems function

Unless caused by a plumbing leak, water that accumulates within the walls of a basement is likely caused when groundwater near the exterior of the home seeps into the basement through the walls or floor. Depending on the size of the roof and the intensity of the rain, a single rainshower could cause thousands of gallons of water to land on the roof of the home and the soil near the foundation.

Foundation drain systems work by capturing this groundwater and directing it away from the foundation of the home. In some instances, foundation drain systems may require the use of pumps to help collect and remove the water, especially in situations where the water is being forced to flow against gravity during the draining process. 

Older homes are more at risk of drainage issues

Some areas of the nation have building codes in place that require newly constructed homes to have an installed drainage system as part of the construction process. To be exempt from these codes, the grade of the soil surrounding the home and the soil makeup must be deemed sufficient to provide adequate drainage.

Older homes built without the benefit of a foundation drainage system are often relying solely on their gutters, downspouts and splash tiles or gutter extensions to move water away from the home. Adding a foundation drainage system to these older homes can be beneficial in correcting even long-standing water infiltration issues. 

Some commonly used types of foundation drain systems include the following: 

  • French drain system
  • positive drainage system
  • negative pressure drainage system 
  • footing drain system

Drainage problems that go unresolved can negatively affect the health and safety of both your family and the structure the home. To find a solution, homeowners should consider asking a trusted plumbing contractor about foundation drain design options suitable for their situation.