Water drainage systems are of two basic types – internal drainage systems and external drainage systems. The exterior drainage systems are located outside the house. What they typically do is take away the water in the lawn/porch/driveway out along with the water that falls off the roof and along the sides of the house. This is good, but sometimes, water comes through the walls into the house and creates a host of issues. These include leaky floors, weakened floorboards, and many more internal problems. The best possible solution to this is the use of an internal drainage system in a stand-alone way or in combination with an uncomplicated external drainage system. Now, internal drainage systems (basement drains) are typically located in the basement of the house. They run along the inside of the basement walls where the wall and floor meet, taking the water away at the joint. The water that comes along the walls goes straight out, allowing for reduction in problems because of leakage in the walls. At the same time, the water on the floor drains away before reaching the centre of the floor and causing problems.
In the 1950s and around that time, clay pipe sections were used in basement drains. These were ideally about 18 inches in length. They were placed about a quarter of an inch apart from each other to allow space for the water to come in (unlike today’s systems which are continuous but have notches and holes to let water in). The materials used in these were similar to those used in house roof tiles and hence, were called ‘drain tiles’. Although many manufacturers who manufacture these pipes for basement drains have shifted to making these drainage pipes out of plastic nowadays, the term ‘drain tile’ has clung on. These pipes are multipurpose and can be used for a host of drainage functions, be they internal or external.
The basement drains offer great accessibility to set up. They are quicker to set up and are less expensive. They work really well and are serviceable throughout the year due to an internal location. These basement drains can be old-fashioned and generic systems, or designed in a modern way to suit specific client needs.
The conventional way of setting up a basement drains is to lay a pipe of clay or plastic along the footing. This is commonly done during retrofitting of a new house as well. However, these drains have a tendency of getting clogged up with dirt. Water Guard is a basement drains system developed over 15 years ago that is more effective in its usage. In case of absence of a footing as is in the case of monolithic basement flooring, a basement drains system called DryTrak can be installed. DryTrak is a baseboard drainage system that pushes water out in an efficient way.
Basement drains need to be filled up on a regular basis in order to prevent the trap from becoming dry and to prevent the gas from the sewer from penetrating and spreading into the basement. The trap systems in basement drains are also important elements that need to be carefully looked into.