As a homeowner with a wet basement or leaking crawlspace, you're likely overwhelmed by all of the various solutions you can find for drying out the space. However, some waterproofing materials and techniques definitely work better than others.
Strip drains are a newer type of drainage solution that can be paired with foundation drainage boards to create an entire moisture control system. These strip drains also work well when used as freestanding drains to stop water from reaching the foundation, much like a traditional French drain. Find out how these newer drains stack up against the usual French drain made with buried perforated pipe.
1. Greater Water Intake
First, the unique design of a strip drain allows it to absorb much more water than the perforated pipe that only has a few small holes per foot of pipe surface. Since strip drains feature interior dimples wrapped in geotextile fabric, they provide much greater water retention capacity. A similar length of perforated pipe, buried in gravel, only retains a tiny fraction of water that passes over it.
Taking in more water directly translates to a drier foundation or crawlspace. Efficient drains are well worth a higher cost, especially when they'll require less care in the future.
2. Increased Flow Capacity
The open design of dimples and fabric holding a channel open for water also allows water to permeate into the ground more quickly. This faster permeation prevents puddles and surface flooding from forming and seeping between the drain and the bottom of the foundation.
Water also drains more quickly down a length of strip drain and into a dry well than it can in a perforated pipe. If you're dealing with a lot of water coming off a roof edge or other drainage point, you'll appreciate knowing that every part of the system drains as quickly as possible for drier soil around the foundation.
3. Fewer Chances of Clogging
The small holes drilled into the corrugated pipe used in French drains are easily clogged by the smallest amounts of dirt and silt. Gravel is commonly used to surround pipes to prevent this, but even the silt on gravel can cause clogs and therefore make the French drain useless.
Strip drains are designed to resist this clogging effect from the very beginning. The dimples create an open space of an inch or more, and the outer wrap of geotextile prevents any dirt or silt from entering this space and filling it up. The dimples are designed to resist crushing forces from heavy backfill so you can trust the drain is open and directing water away from your foundation.
4. Improved Crush Resistance
Perforated pipe may look stronger than a strip drain, but the round shape is still prone to crushing and crimping as it is surrounded first with heavy gravel and then with backfill. Strip drains are installed vertically to reduce the weight bearing down on them, and the individual dimples holding soil away from the channel are reinforced and thick enough to handle the weight.
5. Simpler Installation
Since French drains require sizable pipe surrounded by multiple inches of gravel in all directions, a larger trench is needed anywhere you want to increase drainage or divert water away from your foundation.
Strip drains are installed vertically in very narrow trenches that are just a few inches wide. This process goes much quicker and makes less of an impact on your lawn and landscape.
Interested in learning more about strip drains and the role they play in waterproofing your foundation or basement? Chat with us here at H20 Waterproofing to get more information about how we use strip drains as part of a complete waterproofing package.