Home Renovation Happenings
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Home Renovation Happenings

There is a lot to think about when you’re renovating a home. You need to make many decisions, starting with what contractor to use and how much money you want to spend. It helps if you have a clear vision for how you want your home to look when you’re done. If you’re not sure what it is that you want yet, take some time to look through my blog. I’ll discuss everything from home additions to flooring materials to appliances and fixtures. These articles will help you get a sense of the possibilities for your home renovation, and help you narrow down your options. Eventually, you’ll decide on the renovations that are right for you.

Home Renovation Happenings

Exterior Vs. Interior Drain Tile: Which Works Best For Your Home?

Pamela Gonzales

Heavy rainfall, heavy snow melts and poor gutter placement can all do a number on your home's basement walls and/or foundation, especially if you don't already have an effective drainage system in place. If you don't want to deal with water in your basement or a foundation weakened by poor drainage, it's in your best interest to invest in drain tiling as a way to keep seepage at bay.

There are two different approaches to drain tiling, both with their own set of benefits and drawbacks. By taking a close look at both systems, you can make an informed decision about how to best protect your home.

Exterior Drain Tiles

Exterior drain tile systems protect your foundation walls against seepage by channeling the water that would normally accumulate against the wall away from your home. This system consists of a continuous loop of perforated PVC drain pipe surrounded by washed gravel, all of which is contained within a narrow trench dug around the home's entire foundation along the footings. This system helps relieve lateral water pressure against the foundation.

There are several advantages to this particular approach:

  • Aside from some landscaping, there's little to no preparation needed on your part.
  • There's also no disruption of your basement, which is ideal if you have a finished basement.
  • Excavating the trench also gives you an opportunity to add an exterior membrane waterproofing system to your outer foundation wall.

Unfortunately, installing an exterior drain tile system can be far more labor-intensive than a typical interior installation, especially if it involves a full-depth basement. It can also be disruptive on your home's surroundings. In many cases, bushes, flower beds and other landscaping have to be dug up before and replaced after the installation.

Interior Drain Tiles

An interior drain tile system offers a more manageable alternative to its exterior counterpart. For starters, there's no need for any excavation of your home's outer perimeter. Instead, your contractor will remove a small portion of the concrete slab from around the perimeter of your basement floor. A trench is dug around this perimeter and the appropriate perforated PVC drain pipe is placed inside of the trench and covered with washed gravel. The trench is later sealed in concrete and a sump pump is installed to help push accumulated water away from your home's foundation.

There are plenty of other advantages to having an interior drain tile system installed in your home:

  • Unlike exterior drain tile systems, interior systems drain water from underneath the foundation. This helps relieve hydrostatic pressure on your foundation.
  • Installations can be performed at almost any time of the year, since the vast majority of the work happens indoors.
  • Interior drain tile systems are also shielded from root intrusions and soil erosion.
  • In most cases, interior drain tile installations are more economical than their exterior counterparts.

However, there are a few disadvantages to keep in mind:

  • If you have a finished basement, then you'll probably need to pull up carpeting, remove shelving and store some of your belongings in preparation for the installation.
  • You won't be able to use your basement while you're having your interior drain tile system installed.
  • Foundations made from brick or stone masonry may need extensive exterior sealing. Otherwise, water may continue to seep through.

Which One Should You Choose?

Deciding which option you should choose can be a bit difficult. Every house has its own unique drainage needs, depending on soil type, home placement and a variety of other factors. Choosing a particular system based on price alone could have plenty of undesirable effects while leaving your drainage issues largely unaddressed.

It's a good idea to ask your basement contractor what he or she thinks is the best choice to make. Their extensive knowledge and experience with drain tiling systems can come in handy during the decision-making process.


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