Basement Drainage Channels
Interior or Exterior Drainage Channels Keep Basement Water Problems in Check
A leaky basement can result in storage issues, foundation damage, and lower home resale value. The occupants of a home are also at risk when water enters the basement. The strange odor that accompanies a wet basement is caused by mold and mildew, which can be extremely hazardous to an occupant’s health. To correct a leaking basement, have basement drainage channels installed.
Types of Drainage Channel Systems
A drainage channel system can be installed inside or outside of a home. The benefits of each approach are discussed below.
Exterior Drainage Channel Systems
This is a fantastic option if you have water issues in your basement and are considering finishing your basement. With an exterior drainage channel system installed, neither noisy sump pumps nor discharge pipes are needed inside the house. And unlike an interior system, an exterior setup also keeps water out of the basement. Installing one, however, can be quite expensive, as it requires excavating a large ditch down to the foundation footings.
Installing an exterior drainage system involves:
- Running PVC drainage pipe around the entire perimeter of the house below the slab.
- Surrounding the piping with crushed rock to help divert the water straight down.
- Installing a waterproof board against the foundation walls to prevent any moisture from entering.
- Adding a porous backfill on top of the pipe that allows water to flow downwards, where it enters the pipe and is safely diverted away from the basement (note that improper backfill material inhibits the downward flow of water, directing it instead towards basement walls).
Interior Drainage Channel Systems
Typically a much cheaper option than an exterior system, interior drainage systems use a channel or pipe installed along the perimeter of exterior walls to remove water from the basement. While a much more economical basement drainage option, this setup doesn't discharge water until it has already entered the basement. It is, therefore, not an option if you have a finished basement or are planning on having your basement finished.
Implementing this type of system is relatively simple: the channel is installed either above the floor or in a dug-out trench along the perimeter of the walls. As for how it works, water is collected in the channel and diverted to a sump pump placed in an excavated hole in the basement floor. The water is then discharged through a drain pipe to a location away from the house.
Basement Drainage Channel Costs
The following costs reflect a national average; the actual project cost may be slightly higher or lower depending on the area of the country you live in and the specific project demands.
- An exterior drainage system costs a minimum of $10,000 and could run as much as $30,000 depending on the size of the home. Costs can be reduced a great deal if you dig out your own foundation, although bear in mind that this is a difficult and time-consuming task.
- An interior basement drainage channel system might cost as little as $1,500 and as much as $5,000 depending on the size of the basement.