Foundation drainage systems are a crucial part of a home’s stability. Without them, foundations leak and building water entry can wreak havoc in a basement, crawlspace, and the foundation itself. Wet basements are a chronic concern in the Midwest and a proper foundation drainage system is the most proactive way of keeping that to an absolute minimum.
A drainage system can be just as frustrating as it is essential. Between the snow and the rain, keeping the water from interfering with a foundation is a tall order to fill. Not only that, but the cost of drainage is an expense that a home needs, but which can’t be seen, and is therefore quite often seems like a low priority for homeowners.
Perimeter Footing Drains
The most commonly applied foundation drainage system is the perimeter footing drain. It functions two crucial purposes: it carries rainwater away from the home’s foundation and helps to relieve the hydrostatic pressure from the rising groundwater during a significant rain.
The essential component of it is usually PVC pipe that circles the entire perimeter of a home. The PVC is dotted with thousands of tiny little holes that allow the water to come in and keep the dirt out. In addition to that, the pipes are usually surrounded by an intense meshwork pattern that creates the first barrier between the pipe and the soil. It’s expensive and tricky to install. If it’s not installed properly, it’s got a very short lifespan, though when entrusted with a professional, there’s no reason to doubt it’s abilities for years.
What Can Happen Without a Good Foundation Drainage System
A good foundation drainage system should last decades without the homeowner even having to think about it. It’s the first line of defense against moisture and decay on the foundation or even in the basement. But, just like any other aspect of a home, it can and will eventually meet some damage or its end.
If the homeowner suspects a foundation drainage system is damaged or failing, it’s essential to get someone in to fix it quickly. If there are no preventative measures between the home and the water, the water will soon win.
The most common foundation problems, such as cracks, settling, wet basements, bowing basement walls, can all be traced back to water. A homeowner can waterproof and repair on the inside, but without correcting the water source issue, there’s nothing to stop the water from continuing to take over and do more damage.
Water can move soil, destroy rock, eat away at iron, and all of these are the components which keep a house standing.
Excessive water is going snowball into a big expensive problem if a contractor decides to skimp out on the foundation drainage system. This is also true if a homeowner neglects to repair it when damage begins to show.