Serving Mid, Western and Northern Michigan,
Kalamazoo, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City
Friday, October 26th, 2018 by Amanda Waldmann
We have many customers who ask us about an exterior waterproofing system - often referred to as drain tile - because they’ve heard that’s what usually gets installed when a basement has water issues. On the surface, it makes sense - the water is outside, so you should “catch” it before it even has a chance to get inside, right?
It’s not that simple. There are some companies that swear by an exterior waterproofing system, but we’ve found that not only is an interior system more effective, it’s also less disruptive and requires less maintenance. Let’s break it down.
Exterior: Requires excavation around your foundation, all the way to the footer. Anything in the way (landscaping, sidewalks, etc) has to be moved or removed. After the drain tile is installed, the excavated dirt will be filled back in but is now porous and more absorbent to surrounding water.
Interior: Requires jackhammering of the perimeter of your basement floor. We take great measures to control dust, including special filters and taping and draping your belongings in the center of your basement. After installation, new concrete is poured to return the basement floor to its original state. We’ll dig a small trench outside to bury your discharge line, but other than that, your yard and the dirt surrounding your home remain undisturbed.
Exterior: Unless your property in on a slope, it will be difficult to install a gravity drain, which is the primary method of draining an exterior system. Exterior systems are also prone to clogging, since they’re buried under dirt, even with a filter laid on top of the system. And with the excavation and refilling of now-loose soil, water can pool at the house and require constant regrading.
Interior: As water enters the basement, it’s collected in our WaterGuard system and funneled to a sump pump. From here, it’s discharged through an exterior discharge line that’s installed to exit at the low point of your property, sending water away from the home. Since the system is inside, there’s no dirt to clog it up and water is discharged effectively via a powerful sump pump.
Exterior: In the event of clogging or any other problems, soil surrounding the home has to be excavated again. All steps from the “installation” header may need to be repeated any time there’s an issue.
Interior: We install inspection ports in our WaterGuard system for annual maintenance checkups. In the unlikely event that something clogs - like if your home develops an iron ochre issue - we can simply pop off the cover of the inspection port and flush the system. No muss, no fuss.
Interior systems are, simply put, the superior solution for basement waterproofing. A system can be installed in a few days with minimal disruption to your home and life, they’re more effective, and maintenance is easier. If you have water in your basement, call and schedule your free inspection.