Have you ever noticed how water pools near your home during a downpour? While this can seem completely insignificant, rainwater can easily saturate the soil around your home’s perimeter, infiltrate your foundation walls and cause a lot of damage. Luckily, all this can be avoided with a good drainage system.
More than 85% of all structural damage is caused by poor drainage, which is why installing drainage pipes is a wise move. By making sure the water will not pool around your home’s foundation you will avert serious problems such as mold infestation and even compromised structural stability.
If you were wondering what the purpose of a drainage pipe is, how it works, and whether it is the best solution for your home, keep reading and find out everything you need to know about this fixture.
What Is a Drainage Pipe?
A drainage pipe is a pipe that runs along the perimeter of foundation walls and collects groundwater. It is a special, perforated pipe that is designed to provide ideal drainage for your property. With this fixture, you can minimize the odds of basement flooding, pest infestation, mold growth, and compromised structural integrity.
When builders construct a foundation, they use tar coating and drainage pipes to prevent water infiltration into the basement. If these are maintained regularly and kept in good condition, they can keep your basement safe from water damage.
The ideal time to install an exterior drainage system is during the construction of the house. Afterward, everything is much more complicated and installation requires a lot of excavation.
How Do Exterior Drainage Pipes Work?
Drainage pipes are installed around your foundation’s perimeter. A drainage pipe is a perforated, flexible pipe that is buried at the bottom of the foundation footing. These pipes direct water from downpours, snowmelts, or floods away from your home and prevent it from causing any damage to your foundation.
The water can exit and enter the pipe through these perforations. With drainage pipes, water can be easily drained away from your home. For complete waterproofing protection, it’s best to combine exterior drains with interior basement drains and sump pumps. This integrated solution can protect your basement from any water damage.
The main issue with exterior drainage pipes is that they can easily get backed up. Due to these clogs, the water is no longer drained from your property and can cause significant damage. Another problem with drainage pipes is that they are fragile and can get crushed by the weight of the soil above them.
Features of a Good Drainpipe
With a high-quality drainage system, you can be at ease knowing that your property is safe from water damage. It will save you a lot of money in repairs in the long run and you won’t have to worry about mold growth or water damage. But how can you know which drainage system will get the job done? Here are several factors that will determine whether you will get your money’s worth.
Durability: Since exterior drainage systems are not protected from the elements, they need to be made of durable materials that can withstand harsh conditions.
Sizing: A good drainage system can manage heavy showers without compromising its performance.
Proper installation: Exterior drainage systems are constructed of several different components that need to be properly connected. This is why installation should always be completed by skilled professionals.
Pros of Exterior Drainage
Exterior drainage can be pricey but offers several useful advantages.
- Prevents water accumulation: When water has oversaturated the soil around your foundation, it can cause a lot of problems, from wall cracks and bowing walls to mold growth. With exterior pipes this water will be directed away from your home, leaving it dry and safe.
- Reduces soil erosion: When soil becomes oversaturated, it can erode. These pipes help control the level of moisture in your soil, preventing such unfortunate events from happening.
- Removes toxic materials: After rainstorms, flash floods can occur and bring contaminated and toxic water to your property. Exterior drainpipes can drain this water away from your home.
Cons of Exterior Drainage
However, this system is not perfect and has some unfortunate disadvantages.
- Labor-intensive: Unless you install exterior drainage while you are building your home, this process can be very complicated. Not only does it involve a lot of excavation, but you might also need to replace your sidewalk, deck, or porch. It will also ruin your landscaping.
- High-maintenance: If you think that you can sit back and relax knowing that the exterior drainage system will keep your basement safe from water damage, this is not exactly the case. This system requires regular maintenance to function properly at all times. You will need to clean it and replace broken pipes as soon as they get damaged.
- Clogs and fails easily: Unfortunately, washed-up soil and sediments can build up and clog the drain. When this happens, the drain will become completely ineffective, and your home might suffer from water damage.
What Is a Better Solution?
Whether you live in Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, or Tennessee, contact your local contractor and ask about interior drainage systems. This solution, in combination with a sump pump, is a much better alternative to exterior drainpipes. It is very easy to install and doesn’t require exterior excavation. An interior drainage system sits on top of the footing, out of the dirt, and directs any water that enters the basement to the sump pump. This solution keeps your basement dry, and you won’t have to worry about potential clogging.
Installing an exterior drainpipe when the house has already been built is a long and complicated project. If you wish to know more about exterior drainpipes or you want to ask about an interior drainage system, contact experts at AFS and schedule a free foundation inspection and repair quote.