Done right the first time
Over the years we have done a lot of research on drainage. As you might imagine, controlling moisture is a perfect compliment to mold remediation.
The equation is simple: Control the moisture = Control the mold!
Like remediation, there are a lot of companies out there that do drainage. There are few that do it right. Beware that low bid you just got for a French drain through your backyard. It may not be an appropriate means of control and it will most likely be installed incorrectly.
There are many approaches to controlling water around your home. It all starts with how the foundation water proofing and grading was installed when the home was built. This is your building block.
MSG can handle all of your drainage needs around your foundation. If you are getting water in your crawlspace, we can fix it. Exterior solutions are the preferred method but sometimes it is cost prohibitive to retro-fit foundation drainage on the exterior of the home due to problems such as those listed below. You have options…
Exterior foundation water proofing and drainage should have been installed when your home was built. If it is an older home, codes may not have been established at that time and water proofing may not exist. Newer homes should have some type of water proofing installed however, once it gets covered up, you have no idea what is going on down there. If the foundation was not water proofed correctly (or at all in some cases), chances are higher that you will have water issues. Ideally, a foundation should be prepped against water intrusion during the build phase. Some builders do it right and some builders do it wrong. A proper water proofing should consist of a foundation drain (French drain) at the footers. This pipe should be installed in front of and below the footer to catch all subsurface water. The foundation wall should be coated then a membrane should be installed against the foundation wall. A dimple membrane is our preferred method due to its reliability and how it is designed to work. The “dimples” allow the membrane to sit off of the wall so that if any water/moisture was to make it’s way behind the membrane, it has a free path to the drain system at the footer where it can be routed away from the home. Of course any exposed edges of the membrane are sealed to prevent excess water from getting behind. Drains should be routed to daylight if possible.
As you can imagine, this type of water proofing gets difficult once the home is built. Access to the foundation wall is usually complicated due to driveways, walkways, porches, decks, HVAC units and utilities. If this is your reality, do not despair. We can still control a water issue.
Interior perimeter drains are installed in the crawlspace. These work exactly like an exterior drain except they are located along the foundation perimeter inside the crawlspace. Installing a drainage system inside allows us to access the entire perimeter without the visible invasive destruction required for an exterior install and the complications working around utilities, driveways etc. The drainage is still installed in front and below the footer to catch sub surface water at its entry point. Any other location simply does not work. The drainage system is then routed to the lowest point in the crawlspace. If possible, the drain can be gravity fed out of the crawlspace to daylight. This isn’t always an option so a sump may be required. Our sumps utilize properly sized basins (not a bucket) and are approx. 3′ in the ground. Professional grade sumps are used with built in floats (not the ones that look like a toilet float!). A sump allows us to pump the water collected to almost any location desired.
You may not realize it, but a roof system collects an amazing amount of water. if your gutter system is not functioning properly, all of this water is possibly being channeled to your foundation and/or the structure itself. Sometimes the water issue you may be experiencing is a direct result of the gutters. Make sure that you gutters are cleaned and working. Make sure there are no leaks at seams. Repair damage from trees promptly. Downspouts must direct water away from the home. Utilize downspout extensions if you do not have an adequate slope away from your home to keep water from getting into your crawlspace.
Many homes have underground drainage connected to the downspouts. This is a great idea if done correctly. Typically, a homeowner has no idea where the underground drainage even goes. We offer a method of testing your underground drainage system to verify functionality and tell you where it runs to daylight. That way you’ll know where the outlets are so that they can be maintained. If there is a problem found, we will offer solutions to fix it.
Some helpful tips to remember:
- Exterior drainage systems should always be constructed of PVC pipe. HDPE (black corrugated) pipe is commonly used by many contractors but this should be considered an inferior method. HDPE is susceptible to crushing and aggressive root systems will bust through the pipe looking for water thus rendering it useless. Rigid PVC has a better chance at longevity.
- Exterior underground downspout drainage should be solid PVC pipe and it should be it’s own separate system. Never combine downspout drainage with your foundation footer drain or your positive drain from the crawlspace.
- Know where your exterior drainage outlets are so that you can maintain them!
- All French drains must be silt protected. Otherwise, you will be doing it again soon.
- HDPE piping is fine for interior use since there is little possibility of crushing or damage from roots.
- Foundation drains must be in front of and below the footer!
- A bucket is not a proper sump basin.