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Perimeter Drains: Is Your Home Protected?



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By : Lauren Spencer    99 or more times read
If you're looking to build or buy a home, particularly in any area that is damp or prone to basement flooding, one important aspect of your home will be the perimeter drains.

Perimeter—or French—drains are basically a drainage ditch covered with gravel for the purpose of directing water away from certain areas like foundations. While French drains used to be constructed using spaced tiles, they are now generally constructed with perforated plastic pipes that can carry larger volumes of water and allow water drainage out the entire length of the pipe as well.

The purpose of a perimeter drain around your foundation is to draw water that would otherwise sit around the foundation and wick into it, possibly creating one very wet basement or crawl space. A properly built outer perimeter drain should be at a lower level than the footings so that capillary action cannot draw the water up and through the walls.

There is also an interior perimeter drain that can be used that is installed around the inside perimeter of the basement as well. The idea with the interior drain is that unlike the outside perimeter drain, there is no dirt and sediment to plug it up, so that it won't need to be unclogged after a number of years of use and because it's inside, any repairs are easily made.

Many of these interior drains are basically just a gap around the perimeter of the basement walls that allow the water to collect from seepage and any humidity to drip down from the concrete wall. The big problem with this type of system is that it creates a lot of moisture inside the home and can cause mildew problems.

Interior drains can also be constructed with a new type of French drain system that is installed around the inside perimeter of the basement wall that is then covered with cement. The design allows water to drip down or collect in the pipe through the sides and be pumped away by sump pump while avoiding excessive moisture problems in the home.

The water is removed from the basement by way of a sump pump; this pump is wired into the home's electrical system but should also have a battery backup as well. The sump pump should be maintained yearly to make sure it's in good running order.

Any information about flooding or the state of the drainage system should be provided to you by the homeowners. The more you know about an existing drainage system, the better prepared you will be in case you need to make any repairs to it once you live in the home; and the more you know about drainage systems in general, the better informed you will be when it comes time to put one in a home you're building as well.
Everything you need to know about homes in Santa Cruz is right here at MySantaCruzRealEstate.com. Lauren Spencer, Coldwell Banker Realtor will be glad to answer your questions about New Brighton CA real estate.

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