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How to Install Basement Drainage Channels

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Unwanted moisture and flooding are real concerns for those with basements. There are countless tips and tricks to deal with the inevitability of water getting into the basement, but many of these methods don't provide a long-lasting solution to the problem. One of the best (and most permanent) ways to prevent moisture from getting into your basement is to install a drainage channel system.

Why Install Drainage Channels?

Although the method of creating a drainage channel system is complicated, it is worth the time and trouble. Here are just some of the benefits:
  • It is better to protect your basement against flooding right off the bat, instead of doing small fixes that might only slow down the damage rather than preventing it completely.

  • By creating drainage channels, any water seeping into your basement, whether it comes in through the floors, ceiling or walls, will be channeled toward a sump pump for removal.

  • If you take the extra step to put in wall panels, as described below, you can cover up any unsightly damage to your walls caused by prior leakages.

Step-by-Step Instructions

In order to build the drainage channel, you'll need to dig up a narrow trench along the perimeter of your basement using a jackhammer. The trench should be about 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep. You'll also need to create a hole in the floor to place the sump pump. This hole should be in a spot against the trench you already created. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the sump pump for the dimensions of this hole

At this point, if desired, you can attach polyethylene panels (also known as "bright wall panels") to the walls of the basement. These panels will help direct any water coming through the walls down into the channel. They can also hide unsightly damage to your walls caused by prior leaks.

The next step is to place plastic drains into the trench along the perimeter. These long pipes should be laid down end to end, using special corner pieces where necessary. This system will channel any incoming water toward the hole you created for the sump pump. Using a T-shaped piece of drain and a short piece of PVC piping, the drainage channel can be connected to the sump pump. Once everything is connected, you can fill in any gaps in the trench between the drain and the floor.

Again, installing a drainage channel system in your basement is a dependable way to keep your basement nice and dry. While other methods of waterproofing a basement might be less time consuming, those methods will only prevent water damage for so long. By investing the time to create a drainage channel, you'll have an almost fool-proof method of preventing your basement from flooding.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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