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What Is an Exterior Drainage Pipe?

An exterior drainpipe collects groundwater and directs it away from the foundation before it can cause any damage. It has perforations that allow water to drain in and out of the pipe. The pipe is usually buried in trenches all around the home’s perimeter at the base of the foundation footing.

groundworks interior drain installation

Eighty-five percent of structural damages that occur in homes can be attributed to poor drainage. As a homeowner, you can avoid costly repairs by installing an exterior drainage pipe.

Types of Drain Pipes

There are various types of exterior drainage pipes available, each designed to cater to specific drainage needs. These include:

  1. French Drain: This type of drain comprises a perforated pipe installed in the yard to facilitate the drainage of standing water. Prior to installing the drainpipe, a trench is excavated away from the house, and gravel or other porous material is used to fill it. The trench is then covered with soil, and the standing water seeps into the French drain and is diverted away from the yard.
  2. Footing Drain: A perforated pipe is placed at the base of the foundation footing to collect water that may otherwise have seeped into the foundation walls. Like the French drain, the footing drain is buried in a trench and then covered with a porous material. This drainage system is particularly effective in preventing damage to the foundation walls caused by excess water.

Advantages of Installing an Exterior Drainage

crawlspace drainage product

Although the installation and maintenance of exterior drainage systems may be costly, they offer numerous benefits that make them a valuable investment. Some of the advantages of using these systems include:

  • Prevents Water Accumulation: Standing water around the foundation of your home can result in various problems, including the growth of mold, wall cracks, and structural damage. Exterior drainpipes work effectively in draining excess water away from your basement and the foundation, preventing potential damage.
  • Reduces Soil Erosion: Stagnant water in the soil can cause it to become muddy and erode, leading to instability in the ground. By regulating the moisture content in the soil, exterior drainage pipes help to prevent soil erosion, ensuring the stability of your property’s foundation.
  • Protects Landscaping: Water pooling around the foundation of your home can also damage your landscaping, leading to the death of plants and trees. Exterior drainage systems help to prevent water from accumulating around your property, protecting your landscaping and preserving its beauty.
  • Increases Property Value: Installing an exterior drainage system can increase the value of your property. A well-maintained drainage system is an attractive feature for potential buyers, as it indicates that the property is protected from potential water damage. This can make your home more appealing to buyers and increase its overall value.

Disadvantages of Installing an Exterior Drainage  

While exterior drainage systems offer many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks that should be considered before installation. Some of the disadvantages of using these systems may include:

  • High Installation Cost: The initial installation cost of exterior drainage systems can be quite high, depending on the size of your property and the complexity of the system. This may make it difficult for some homeowners to justify the investment.
  • Regular Maintenance Required: Exterior drainage systems require regular maintenance to function properly. This may involve cleaning the pipes, removing debris from the drain, and ensuring that the system is functioning correctly. Failure to maintain the system can lead to blockages and other problems that may require costly repairs.
  • Possibility of Malfunction: Although exterior drainage systems are designed to prevent water damage, they are not foolproof. In some cases, the system may malfunction, leading to water accumulation and potential damage to your property.
  • Unsightly Appearance: The installation of exterior drainage systems may negatively impact the aesthetic appeal of your property. The pipes and other components of the system may be visible above ground, which can detract from the overall appearance of your landscaping.

What are the Best Alternatives?

Interior drainage systems like the BasementGutter™ system and sump pumps are longer-lasting alternatives to exterior drainpipes. Both systems are easy to install, safer, and more convenient than typical drainpipes on the outside.

sump pump installed inside a basement

The BasementGutter™ system sits on the subfloor atop the footing instead of in dirt and mud. It collects any water that enters the basement and directs it to the sump pump, which ejects it outside. Ultimately, they keep your basement dry and protected from water damage.

Take comfort in knowing your home is properly protected with a reliable interior drainage system. Contact the local Groundworks experts to schedule a free inspection and repair quote. Our professionals can evaluate your home, recommend solutions best suited to its repair needs, and maintain these measures so the foundation stays safe and dry.