Installing a Basement Dewatering System with Healthy Homes
Updated: Dec 21, 2022
If you have humidity building up in your basement, water that leaks into it, discoloration around the edges of your floor, past block repair, or areas where your concrete floor is slanted or has dropped, you’ll want to seriously consider installing a dewatering system.
How Water Gets Into a Basement
Before we get into the installation, you’ll need to know a little more about your home. The walls of your home sit on top of the footing. The footing is typically made of concrete and its purpose is to distribute the weight of your house and to prevent it from shifting. The foundation of your basement is parallel to where the footing and the bottom of your wall meet. Most commonly water may be getting into your home by seepage through the crack in your walls or by water putting pressure underneath your footing and foundation. It is important to figure out how water is coming in because this will determine how pipe is installed to keep water away from your home.
How to Install a Basement Dewatering System
Now, on to the installation and your way to a healthier home!
The first step to adding a dewatering system around the inside of your basement is to jackhammer through your concrete foundation from the wall to about 6-12 inches out. This allows us to remove the concrete, gravel, and dirt to create a trench just below your home’s footing to create a trench. In many of the homes we work in, it’s normal at this point to see water in the trench. Don’t worry, that won’t be the case for long!
PRO TIP: By digging this trench below your footing, we are able to capture the water that runs down the outside of your house and get it out without having to wait for it to seep through the walls. This helps remove any potential pressure to the outside of your home by capturing it early and pumping it away from your home. If you hire someone other than Healthy Homes to install a dewatering system, you’ll want to check to be sure they lay down the pipe below the footing.
Next, a pipe is laid in the trench below the footing. The pipe is perforated to capture water inside and then divert it to a sump pump that takes it away from your home. This pipe is then surrounded by rocks to prevent clogging the holes with dirt, but will still allow water to run through to the pipe.
At this point, we will drill weep holes into the wall of your home to relieve any built up pressure inside your walls. The weep holes are drilled just above where your wall meets the footer. It is not uncommon to get water spilling out of these holes as soon as they are drilled. (Crazy, right!?) These holes will make sure any new water won’t get trapped in your concrete walls, but instead will be diverted through the weep holes down into the pipe.
Finally, our trench is filled in with concrete to meet the old foundation height. The concrete should be at least three inches thick to meet the building code and to be sure it is strong enough to keep your home healthy. You will probably be able to notice the difference in the color from the old and new concrete on your floor if you leave it unfinished, but the peace of mind of knowing you are now living in a healthier home is worth it!
A dewatering system is just one way you can improve the health of your home, but it is an important one. By removing water away from the walls and foundation of your home, you are keeping your home safe, but you are also reducing humidity which is a key contributor to mold. Remember: Whatever the condition of your home may be now, it can become a healthy one!
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