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Home » Exterior Drainage

Exterior Drainage

Street basin tap
Pop up exterior drainage

Basement Waterproofing Solutions specializes in all kinds of exterior drainage. Managing the water around the outside of your home is the 1st line of defense to help keep your basement dry.

·        Driveway grate/zipper drains

If your driveway is sloping down toward your garage and your getting water into your garage, then you will need a grate drainage system or zipper drain in your driveway.  Already have one? Then it was done incorrectly. Call the professionals at Basement Waterproofing Solutions to have a grate drain system designed specifically for your situation. All our driveway drain systems are rated for car traffic which means the grate drain is completely wrapped in concrete with a 6” concrete base.

·        French drains

French drains are any kind of perforated piping back filled with clean ¾” gravel. These types of systems can be very beneficial if installed properly and installed in the proper application. Often people will ask us to install a surface perforated French drain (1 to 2 feet deep) around the outside of their home to keep water away from their foundation or to prevent the basement floor and wall seam from leaking. This is a complete waste of time and money. To install an effective exterior system that will prevent your basement from leaking, the piping would have to be installed below the basement floor. (See interior French drain vs exterior French drain)

Some applications for an exterior French drain;

Alongside of a property line to prevent water intrusion from a neighboring property.

At the base of a hillside to manage water.

Alongside of a home or section of a yard to prevent puddling

·        Leach fields

Leach field is a perforated pipe system set on a bed of gravel that allows water to drain back into the ground. Common application for a leach field is a septic system. Basement Waterproofing Solutions will often connect a sump pump discharge into a leach field to help disperse water across a larger area to help with surface water flooding.

·        Drywell

A drywell is an underground structure that water can drain into. They vary in shape and size. Leader down spouts, sump pump discharge piping and surface drains are just some examples of what can drain into a drywell. We have often seen many improperly designed yard drainage systems terminate into drywells that fail. This results in hundreds of gallons of water draining into people’s basements. These flawed designs are usually mandated by an incompetent building department.

·        Surface drains

Surface drains work great to drain water in a low area and prevent stagnant water puddling.

·        Pop up drains

A pop up is a small plastic fitting that is installed level with the ground and is connected to PVC piping below the ground. The center of the fitting pops up when there is an abundant water flow into the below piping. Leader down spouts and sump pump piping can be connected to a pop-up drain. The pop up will gently flow water around the area that its installed prevent ground erosion.

·        Basement entrance drains

Basement entrance drains can be installed into a sump pit/pump in your basement. A pump and sump pit can also be installed right in the basement entrance if needed. Other options include connecting into an existing drainpipe or gravity drain to a low area. It is never recommended to install a basement entrance into a drywell. There is always a possibility a drywell can overflow and back up and out of the drain.

·        Sump pump discharge

Sometimes a good solid plan is needed for a sump pump discharge. If your pump cycles on every 5 minutes or less, there is a good chance it will be causing a major flooding problem around the outside of your home. Other pumps might never cycle on or cycle on once a day. In this situation, just installing the discharge pipe above the ground several feet away from the home’s foundation is OK as long as there is a positive pitch away from the house. Some good options for managing sump pump water-with the better options being listed 1st;

1.      Connect pump discharge pipe to a street catch basin or storm sewer pipe.

2.      Install exterior piping to a low area or creek bed.

3.      Connect into a drywell or leach field

4.      Connect to a pop up drain a minimum of 10ft from your home.

Whenever installing exterior drain piping for a sump pump, 1.5” piping should never be buried below the ground because the potential for the pipe to freeze solid. The 1.5” pipe should transition to a 3 or 4” pipe above the ground. When connecting a pump discharge pipe to any underground piping, it is recommended not to make a sealed direct connection. If the underground pipe breaks or freezes, this will stop the pump water flow and back up in the basement sump pit. A freeze out fitting will prevent this from occurring.

·        Leader down spouts

All the above options listed for sump pump discharges will work great for leader down spouts too. For many homes built after 1975, the leader down spout piping is already connected into a large drywell. Others might be going into a storm sewer system. Most building departments will have a record of where your leader down spouts are connected if the connections were made when the home was first built.


When not to install exterior drainage

NEVER NEVER install an exterior drainpipe to nowhere. Quite often we see drain piping terminating into the ground-yes, the end of the pipe is just buried in the dirt. Drain piping needs to drain somewhere. The best options are leading a pipe to a low area so the pipe can naturally drain the water out of the pipe above the ground. Ex; Exiting a retaining wall or a hillside or terminating into an existing catch basin. Other options are to lead a pipe into a drywell, leach field or pop up.

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Exterior Drainage

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