Man on his knees looking at a basement sump and pump

How Does Basement Floor Drainage Work?

17 August 2021

When it comes to making sure that your properties basement stays dry all year round there is a lot to take into consideration, but if you are a total novice when it comes to property care there is no shame at all in not understanding how a property can protect itself against flooding with floor-based drainage.

So, to that end, this article is going to help you understand how basement floor drainage works and how it fits into a larger system of waterproofing designed to keep a properties basement dry and habitable.

How Does Basement Waterproofing Work?

The very first thing to understand about floor drainage in a basement is that it isn’t a self contained solution. Installing ground drainage facilities within a basement on its own isn’t enough to safeguard you against flooding. You need to have measures in place to direct excess water and other forms of moisture towards your drainage, otherwise, you will find that whatever drain you have remains unused and water is able to pool.

So, the first thing to think about when it comes to basement floor drainage is your below ground waterproofing solution. Now, if your property has Type A, or ‘barrier protection’ waterproofing applied to it (either externally or internally), you are going to find that your property isn’t going to be totally in line for a floor based drainage system.

Instead, to make the most of a complete floor drainage system you will have to look to a Type C waterproofing solution – otherwise known as a cavity drainage membrane system. Luckily for anybody reading who either already has a type A or type B waterproofing system installed (or if you have no waterproofing in your below ground property at all) this is a system that can be used entirely in conjunction with other types of waterproofing.  These waterproofing solutions require no external construction work, instead of being applied entirely to the inside of the property.

Cavity Drain Membrane

So, how does a cavity drain membrane work, and how does it link to your basement ground drainage system?

Well, first off, the cavity drain membrane is a layer of waterproof material applied directly to your basements flooring and walls. Fixed in place with easily removable wall plugs, the purpose of the membrane is to stop leaking water from entering the property itself, instead of catching the water within the membrane.

Once any water that has leaked in is safely behind the cavity membrane itself, it will naturally trickle downwards to a perimeter drainage channel, which allows the water to drain safely to your properties floor drainage system.

So, the aim of cavity drain membranes isn’t to stop water entering the property entirely, but to control any leaks your property might have already (or that they might develop, and to help direct the water safely away from your property before it can cause damage.

The question is though, is where does the type c waterproofing direct any water it captures?

Basement Floor Drainage Solutions

Sump pump unit installed in a basement

Let’s assume that you have had a Type C waterproofing system installed. You will need a way for the water that is captured by that Type C waterproofing system to drain safely away from your property. The most common method for this to happen is via the use of a sump pump.

Simply put, a sump pump is a device that facilitates the collection and dispersal of water from a property that allows for a safer and more reliable ongoing service than you would expect with a gravity based drain.

The sump pump (and by extension your basements ground drainage system) works in a very simple way. The sump section on your sump pump fills with the water that is collected by your Type C waterproofing system.

This sump will be automatically emptied once the sump pump detects that a certain level of water has been met – usually via the use of a float switch. This float switch being triggered means that the pumps within the sump pump can eject the water from the sump into whatever drainage system you choose, usually the nearest drainage point.

It can be common, however, that it will be somewhere far away from your properties foundations that sits above the water table in the area.

The pumps themselves help to facilitate the quick movement of the water and can create additional pressure to help the collected water move uphill should it be needed. These pumps are often connected to the mains power of a property to help keep water flowing out of your basement. For added protection, in the event of a power outage, they can also be equipped with a backup battery power source.

The Entire Basement Drainage Water Cycle

Cavity drain membrane in a basement

The previously described process encompasses the entirety of the waters lifecycle upon contact with a basement. Once the water breaks through your basements walls, it will be collected by the Type C waterproofing system and channelled towards a sump pump within the installed perimeter drainage channels. The water will then be collected, stored and then safely pumped away by the sump pump once enough water has been collected to trigger the pumping function of the pump itself.

If installed correctly, you should at no point notice water within your basement, instead, the only sign that liquid is present will be the sound of your sump pump engaging beneath your flooring and pumping water safely away. If this kind of discrete, effective and proven waterproofing sounds like it could be beneficial in your property, then give us a call.

Our team of experts are able to visit your property and conduct a waterproofing survey to let you know if your below ground structure would benefit from a Type C waterproofing system. Not only that, but our waterproofing technicians can install that Type C system entirely, including the sump pump that facilitates basement floor drainage to keep your property safe.

We don’t stop there either. Timberwise will be able to help you set up a consistent basement pump servicing, so that your waterproofing and basement floor drainage system remain operational, reliable and dependable year round. Just call us on 0800 288 8660 or get in touch with us online here.