After years of design and analysis, industry professionals agree that the shallow depth interior sub-floor system is the most reliable and effective method in post-construction basement waterproofing. The second most reliable is the interior pipe and stone system. This system however, does have inherent problems since it can under excavate the foundation wall by sucking dirt into the system, creating a potential clog.
In determining the top two ways to resolve a basement waterproofing problem, the question is asked: “What do we do after we gather the water that is threatening the floor? Where do we put it?”
There are several options for drainage of the water that threatens your basement.
A Gravity Fed Drain to the Exterior. Gravity fed drains involve digging underneath the footing and continuing at a greater depth to pitch the pipe to an area where the pipe will meet air. This scenario requires a house being on a hill and is simply not a desirable option.
Draining to a Drywell on the Exterior. The problem with this method is the possible saturation causing a backup. This backup could cause more problems on the interior of the home than you experienced before attempting to resolve this problem.
Draining to a Sewer Drain Underneath Floor. In most states, this is not a legal option. Where it’s legal, extreme caution should be used.
Sump Pumps. The most realistic and successful method for draining the water from your basement area is to utilize a sump pump. There are many varieties of sump pumps. The best sump pump is one with a sealed lid that pumps to the exterior. The exit point is through the band board (where the first floor joists are situated) to the outside, straight down the freeze stop, and then into a 4″ pipe and out onto the lawn or another area where the water can be expelled without causing further disruption to the landscape.
The perception of a sump pump is an open pit with stale water, dead bugs, and debris floating in it. The sump pumps of today are much different than what we’ve seen in the past. Newer sump pump technology will be the subject of a separate article. The most important thing to remember is that the interior water treks are the arteries and the sump pump is the heart of your basement waterproofing system. Before you start any basement-finishing project, be sure you’re up-to-date on a waterproofing system that will keep the water out of your basement.