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Interior Drain vs. Exterior Drain

Added January 10, 2007

Q. Our house is only 8 years old and already damp with hairline cracks appearing in the walls. There is a drain outside around the foundation that drains to a sump pump, but obviously it isnít doing the job. I got one quote from a waterproofing contractor, but heís suggesting an interior drain as well. Canít we just redo the waterproofing on the exterior to fix this problem.

A: Sure, if you want to redo it again in 8 years or less and risk the structural integrity of your foundation. What your contractor is suggesting will actually manage the water that is coming in through your foundation. The exterior drain is only managing standing groundwater, itís not doing anything to alleviate hydrostatic pressure which is whatís causing the dampness and hairline cracks.

Hydrostatic pressure is caused by moisture in the soil surrounding your foundation. This pressure forces water in through the porous concrete of your foundation. With a properly installed interior drain tile you can remove this water and pump it out via a sump pump far enough away from your foundation to solve this problem.

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