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Should You Install an Interior Drain or A Sump Pump?

The sump pump and the interior drain are cousins, but what's the difference? Can these tools stack to keep your crawl space dry?

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Florida presents its local homeowners with a litany of problems to deal with, the least of which is hardly the weather. Whether you’re preparing for hurricane season or a standard Florida fall, you’ll want to know you have the means in place to protect your home’s value. 

Waterproofing your home can be a complicated endeavor, especially if you’re not sure what kind of solutions may suit your home best. For example, interior drains and sump pumps look similar at face value while providing your home with different waterproofing means. 

What Do You Need to Know About Sump Pumps? 

Sump pumps are among the most effective waterproofing measures a homeowner can take advantage of when trying to protect their home. To install a sump pump in your home, professionals in the Florida area need to:  

  • Lay drainage pipes around the perimeter of your crawl space 
  • Find the spot in your crawl space that gathers the most water 
  • Drill weep holes around your sump pump’s base, if appropriate 
  • Test the sump pump’s float switch 
  • Dig out a spot for the sump pump 
  • Install an interior filter to prevent silt and other obstacles from clogging the pump 
  • Connect the pump to drainage pipes beneath your home 
  • Fill the hole with gravel 

Sump pumps, as mentioned, tend to work best when placed in the dampest part of your crawl space. This way, they can drive that water out before it has an opportunity to damage your belongings. 

That said, sump pumps do have their weaknesses. For example, these machines require electricity to operate unless you additionally invest in a battery backup. As such, you may find yourself without your waterproofing protections if the power goes out in your home. 

Similarly, sump pumps work best when controlling moisture levels in one part of your home. These waterproofing measures cannot provide your home with the comprehensive protection you may require if they are just installed on their own. 

What Do You Need to Know About Interior Drains? 

Where sump pumps are spot-aids, interior drains can help you control moisture levels throughout the whole of your crawl space. 

To install an interior drain in your crawl space, the contractors in your area will need to:  

  • Excavate/remove sections of your dirt-floor crawl space, leaving at least one foot of clearance 
  • Tap and bleed (or leave weep holes in) the walls to allow any existing moisture to drain out 
  • Install slotted drainage pipes and cover the laid pipes with gravel 
  • Attach the drains to a sump pump to move water out of your home 
  • Cover the drains  

As mentioned, interior drains provide you with more comprehensive waterproofing coverage than sump pumps. That said, their coverage is relatively superficial, as they cannot always cope with heavy rains. Instead, you can more readily rely on them to protect your home from minor leaks, no matter where those leaks may form. 

Should You Use Both A Sump Pump and An Interior Drain? 

As mentioned, there are benefits to using both a sump pump and an interior drain. It’s also to your benefit to stack these waterproofing measures for the best protection. 

The interior drainage system will collect water that leaks through the crawl space walls and floor, and this water needs somewhere to go, like a sump pump, instead of throughout the rest of the crawl space. This water is then channeled to the sump pump system so it can be properly pumped out of the crawl space and away from the home’s foundation. These waterproofing measures also are important to install before encapsulating the crawl space

If you’re not certain which of these two waterproofing measures may suit your home best, or if you want to explore a broader catalog, the contractors serving the Florida area can help you find the best place to start. You can request a thorough home inspection from the experts at Alpha Foundations, after which a professional can provide you with a free quote on those measures or repairs that may restore your home’s original value.

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