Your home has all sorts of drains – every sink or tub has one, as well as some of your larger appliances. There is also a very important drain located just outside of your home – your perimeter drain. If this important system is not operating properly, your basement or crawlspace could end up wet or flooded.

What is a perimeter drain?

A perimeter or foundation drain is designed to prevent water from seeping into the basement or crawlspace of the home. It carries water away from the house, preventing flooding and wetness in the basement or crawlspace. The drain is made out of plastic or PVC pipe installed underground and around the perimeter of the house. The pipe is perforated with thousands of tiny holes that allow water to enter the pipe – the pipe is sloped away from the home, to keep as much water as possible away.

Drain System Maintenance

Most people probably don’t think about their perimeter drainage system – but it is probably something that should be inspected periodically, especially if you have noticed any water stains on your basement walls or pooling water near your foundation. A professional can come to your home and insert a drain into the system to check if it is functioning properly or if there are potential problem areas. Sometimes a cleaning may be necessary to avoid a worse problem down the line, such as a repair or complete replacement.

What if something goes wrong?

If your perimeter drain is clogged, water may seep into your basement because it is not being carried away from the home and it has nowhere else to go. An older home may have clay or concrete “weeping tiles” installed as a drainage system, and these may deteriorate over time. This type of system will need to be updated and replaced with a modern system. If the system is simply blocked, and not damaged, a professional can dig access points to clean it out.  If you do end up having to replace your system, consider having a clean-our port installed, this would allow easier cleaning for the future.

Even if you have not noticed water build up around your home or in your basement, it may be worthwhile to look into the status of your home’s drainage system. That way you may be able to avoid a costly repair or replacement.