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Why Does a Foundation Need Footing Drains?

Why Does a Foundation Need Footing Drains?

Water accumulating around the perimeter of a foundation can lead to damage, thus building codes across the United States now require the installation of footing drains. These drains function to divert water away from the foundation and are easy to install when the structure is being built. When there is no footing drain present or the one in place fails, the system needs to be fixed in a timely manner before problems arise. However, many homeowners aren’t even aware this system is present and have numerous questions when they discover this is the case. One question comes up again and again: Why Does a Foundation need Footing Drains?

What Is A Foundation Drainage System?

Contractors install foundation drains around the perimeter of a structure to divert water away from the foundation. The drain system helps to eliminate hydrostatic pressure around the perimeter of the building and stops water from entering the basement. Foundations are constructed using porous materials, and water left standing around these materials will be absorbed over time. Standing water, often referred to as perched water or a high water table, leads to wet basements and a whole host of issues.

The Dangers Of Wet Basements

Wet basements often lead to the development of mold, mildew and their accompanying musty smell. In addition, a wet basement has a negative impact on air quality and may also lead to health problems for occupants of the home. Furthermore, what many property owners fail to realize is a wet basement can bring about moisture issues in the attic.

Drainage System Components

The average foundation drainage system has three components. A high-density polyethylene plastic pipe is the first component. The pipe is approximately four to six inches in diameter and is perforated to allow water to enter the pipe and be carried away from the home. The pipe needs to be a contiguous system and be designed with the lot’s slope in mind. This pipe is placed on gravel and filter fabric and the fabric is then folded over the trench. More stone is added, and sand is placed on top of these items to ensure the soil doesn’t wash into the material and clog the drain pipe. Once water enters the pipe, it must be transported away from the foundation. That leads to the third component of foundation drain systems: a delivery system. This system may include a sump pump, an off-site storm water system, or an on-site dry well.

Why Do Foundation Drains Fail?

A foundation drain may fail for a number of reasons. The vast majority of systems are installed when the home is built, and time takes its toil on the system. Soil movements and pressure can have a negative impact on the system, and there is no way to know how the original contractor completed the installation. They may have used debris from the site to backfill the foundation or they may have neglected to compact or tamp the backfill. Both can impact the longevity of the system. When installing a new foundation drain, it helps to know why the previous one failed.

Property owners in need of a new foundation drain should contact The Beacon Projects Group and LEED AP Frank Mullaney. This company has earned a reputation for managing projects carefully, effectively, and responsibly. They adhere to the budget and ensure the project stays on schedule while meeting regulatory commitments. Information is gathered to ensure the right decisions are made regarding the drain system, and the team remains in constant communication so the customer is aware of what is being done and why. Contact them today to discuss footing drain issues. They’ll work to find the right solution for the problem.

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