When you’re protecting your home from flooding, understanding the types of floor drains commonly used is important to your basement waterproofing efforts. While many new homes have basement drainage systems built into their plans, older homes may have been built without sufficient drainage to manage moisture or may lack a drainage system entirely. Inadequate drainage leaves water trapped under your home where it can cause damage, attract pests, and put your family and home in jeopardy.
Basement Moisture Sources
There are several ways moisture can enter your basement or crawlspace. An improperly sealed basement may be letting cold air enter your home. Once inside, condensation can form as it contacts the warmer environment. Groundwater from the outside, improperly managed, can seep in through cracks or force its way in through aging and damaged drainage systems or the wrong types of floor drains. In some cases, homeowners introduce the moisture themselves by using their basement as a laundry room without ensuring the basement is properly outfitted to withstand the temperature changes and humidity that goes along with their washer and dryer. Whatever the reason, moisture that becomes trapped in your basement is bad news.
Dangers Of Allowing Moisture To Stand In Your Basement
Moisture in the basement can mean more than a little water or an off smell. Left unchecked, it can cause an array of problems in your home, leading to big repair costs, property replacement bills, and even expensive medical visits.
- Structural Damage – Standing water can lead to wood rot, damage concreate, and destroy drywall. While this damage would be a problem anywhere in your house, the basement serves as your home’s foundation. If it loses its structural integrity, your entire home is at risk.
- Personal Property Damage – While some people use their basement as a laundry room, others use it as an addition to their living space for an extra bed or family rooms, and for some families, it’s just extra storage for the items they don’t need year-round. Whatever personal property in your basement is used for, moisture and water can damage or destroy it.
- Mold – Moisture creates the perfect environment for basement mold growth. Once it sets in, mold is difficult and costly to remove from your home, and in the meantime, its spores can wreak havoc on the health of your family members and use your basement as a route of entry throughout the home.
- Pest Problems – Bugs and rodents love warm, moist environments where they can find food, water, and shelter. When moisture goes unmitigated, you’re offering them a welcoming environment in which to live and breed.
- Larger Remediation Fees – A small problem is easier and cheaper to fix than a big problem is. The longer basement moisture proliferates, the worse the repair and eventual waterproofing costs will be.
Basement Drain Types
Having the right type of basement floor drain helps move moisture out of your drain and away from your home. Basement drainage is designed to collect water that would otherwise pool on the basement floor, channel it into your drain system, and allow a sump pump or gravity to force outside the soil surrounding your home’s foundation. Whether it’s from an internal or external source, professionally installed floor drains that are part of a comprehensive basement waterproofing plan keep your structure and property dry and protected. There are several different systems commonly found in basement floors.
- The Floor Drain – While all the drains we talk about are positioned in your floor, the common floor drain is simply a grate leading to a collection pit or, in some older homes, directly to the sewer. Depending on its design, it may not be sufficient to eliminate the amount of water you need it to, concrete that isn’t graded properly for drainage could still leave puddles, and if your floor drain is connected directly to the sewer, you could end up with more than water flooding your basement.
- French Drains – These types of basement floor drains consist of a trench dug near the perimeter of your basement in which a perforated pipe is placed, covered in gravel, which leads to a sump pit. Once there, a sump pump actively removes the water to a better surface drainage site. French drains are effective at basement moisture control, especially when you need to manage larger amounts of groundwater and potential seepage.
- Baseboard Drains – Designed to avoid the need to tear out concrete, these drains use a pipe or water channel inside a baseboard running the perimeter of the room to move water to a sump pit. Unfortunately, effectively directing water to the channel can be difficult, and any settling or shifting of the house may create areas where water no longer moves effectively through the system.
Pumping Water Away From Your Home
As you noticed with these types of floor drains, a sump pump is often involved in aiding basement drainage. A drain is a passive water collection system that just gathers it in a single, localized pit called a sump pit. A sump pump actively drains the sump pit using a powerful motor to force it through hoses or pipes outside of your home, past the soil that drains into the area by your basement walls, and finally to the surface. A good sump keeps the water that infiltrates your basement from adding to the hydrostatic pressure against your basement walls by removing it completely from the equation.
Does Your Basement Need Better Drainage?
If you’re tired of standing water in your basement, getting a professional to take a look is easy and costs you nothing. When you schedule a visit with one of our basement draining and waterproofing experts, they’ll set up a time to inspect your property without cost or obligation. They’ll take a look at any issues or damage, discuss with you the types of basement floor drains that may be right for you, and develop a waterproofing plan tailored to drying out your basement, restoring its health, and protecting it from moisture in the future. Get started today. Call for your appointment with the pros from A.M. Wall Anchor & Waterproofing today.