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When quick fixes aren’t enough, then more elaborate and detailed measures may be in order. The Illustration below shows four different ways to deal with a persistent wet basement, ranked in order of increasing complexity. Choose the solution that best fits your situation and budget and causes the least disruption to your home and property.

 

Regrade the Landscape, Gutters and Downspots

A great number of basement water problems can be solved by handling rainwater and surface drainage properly using gutters and downspouts with extenders or splashblocks to carry the water away from the foundation. Sloping the grade away from the house, which may require hauling fill to the site, is very important. This should be done before any below-grade drainage system is installed, since the above-grade corrections may solve the problem. Even if a drainage system is required, removing water at the source as much as possible is necessary.

     

Install Exterior Drains

Installing an exterior drainage system at an existing building is the most costly, but also the most effective water control approach. This requires digging up the area around the foundation and rebuilding it similar to a new house installation. It also requires digging up shrubs and other obstacles around the house.

 

Install Interior Drains

The most effective of the interior drainage systems is a perforated drain pipe installed inside the perimeter of the footing. This requires removing and replacing concrete at the slab edge. By placing the drain pipe beneath the slab, it drains the area to a lower level. Similar to an exterior system, the drainage pipe connects to a sump. The sump should have an airtight, childproof cover. A critical component of this approach is the dimpled plastic sheeting placed at the base of the wall and beneath the slab edge. Dimpled sheeting is similar to a small egg crate and permits free drainage of the wall into the drain pipe. It is less expensive than many specialized drainage channel systems. In low permeability soils, this system cannot accept rising groundwater unless there is an aggregate layer under the slab. It is recommended that this approach be combined with an active soil gas management system that connects with the sump and perimeter drain pipe.

     
          

 

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