Interior Versus Exterior Drainage Systems


Understanding drainage systems can be a complicated subject for homeowners. There are many drainage systems that can be installed in your home or property, and the overall goal is to avoid any obstacles or problems that lead to water damage, such as seepage, foundation cracks, settling, etc. 

Damages like these can lead to permanent or hazardous problems for your property. Since these issues can be prevented, they most likely will not be covered by your insurance company. Thankfully, drainage systems are specifically designed to protect homes and properties from ground water seepage.

Why are drainage systems important?

Water damage can range from superficial to disastrous and having the correct drainage system can prevent you from experiencing both. Without the right drainage system, water can penetrate the soil surrounding your home or property, causing the ground to shift. This can cause foundation cracks and bowed walls. Due to that fundamental damage, water can seep through your foundation walls, and cause water damage in your basement.

Interior vs. Exterior Drainage Solutions

Exterior drainage systems are buried underground, often when a home is built, and are typically made up of PVC piping. This pipe is known as the “drain tile” and draws attention to water in the soil, whether it is from rain, melted snow, or groundwater. Once that water is collected, it gets carried away from the property and prevents flooding or other water damage concerns.

Interior drainage systems are longer-lasting and more durable than exterior drainage systems. This is because exterior drainage systems can clog up with dirt and become useless over time. When the system gets clogged, it is difficult to access since they are buried underground or beneath landscaping, and therefore becomes nearly impossible to flush out the system. Other risks such as buried gas/water lines, sewage, or electrical wiring can also make repairs extremely hard to take care of, especially if it involves excavation.

Interior drainage systems, which are located on top of the footing around the basement floor perimeter, are much safer and easier to have access to. Most people call this area the “clear water zone.” While exterior drainage systems require trenches to be dug outside of the home, interior systems do not. Instead, a feed line or drain pipe is installed and covered with gravel and cement.

Interior drainage systems are designed to collect water from where the wall and floor meet, as well as from the walls themselves. The purpose of this is to keep water from seeping into the basement. Interior drainage systems connect with sump pumps to properly keep basements dry and safe from water damage. To learn more about our sump pump systems, click HERE.

American Waterworks Interior Drainage Solutions

The easiest and best way to stop basement flooding is to install a full-perimeter french drain system in your basement. Like most scenarios, different problems need different systems to repair them. Our drainage and waterproofing systems are designed for each unique basement to address the individual needs of each home. Some of these challenges arise from the way the home was built, while others arise from mother nature, such as iron ochre and heavy rainfalls. We offer our customers five different french drain systems. We provide our WaterGuard Below-Floor Drain, DryTrak Baseboard Drain Pipe, FlowGuard Thin Floor Drain System, WaterGuard Iron Ochre Perimeter Drain, and TrenchDrain Grated Drainage Pipe.

Our WaterGuard System is the most common choice for basement waterproofing. It is made to be installed below the concrete floor, lying on top of the foundation footing. This keeps the system out of the “mud zone”, which is where drains tend to clog. The installation involves breaking out the concrete floor perimeter with a jackhammer to form a drainage trench. WaterGuard is then placed throughout the trench, backfilled with river rock to fill the gaps, and then covered with concrete.

Our DryTrak System gets installed above the floor, eliminating the jackhammering. It is a useful option when it comes to thick, concrete floors. Our teams drill a weep hole in each foundation block nearest to the floor, so the water can exit through the holes and into the drainpipe. This system allows a slight opening along the top to collect water seepage from the walls.

Our FlowGuard System is designed to sit in front of the footing in a bed of drainage rock. After installation, the concrete is poured over it. Like our other drainage systems, our FlowGuard has a wall flange, which extends up the wall to direct leaking water to your sump pump system.

Our WaterGuard Iron Ochre System is a revised version of our standard WaterGuard System. If iron bacteria is in your water, it will create a rusty-colored substance called iron ochre. It is a substance that stains many things and clogs drainage systems. Our Iron Ochre System has a very wide drain channel and larger drainage openings to allow for an easy drain if the system is clogged.

Lastly, our TrenchDrain System is compatible with a radon mitigation system. It typically prevents water from flooding from outer entryways such as garage doors and under doorways. The grated opening of this system is made to accept water from the floor, and then it gets directed to your perimeter drain.

No matter how your house was built or what kinds of problems you are facing, our interior drainage systems will provide a solution that is best for you and your basement waterproofing needs! To learn more about how our systems work, or about our other basement waterproofing products, contact us today or fill out our online free estimate form.

Interior Versus Exterior Drainage Systems - Image 1

our service area

We serve the following areas

IowaWisconsinMinnesotaNorth Dakota
  • Taylor
Our Locations:

American Waterworks
1307 Valleyhigh Dr NW
Rochester, MN 55901

American Waterworks
4119 14th Ave N
Fargo, ND 58102
Service Area
Free Estimate