How Does an Interior Perimeter Basement Drain System Work?

Home Decor

The last thing that you want to worry about is water in your basement. It can lead to major messes, disasters, issues with your foundation, and plenty of unwanted damage that you have to sort through as well. 

If you’re struggling with a wet basement, there are some different solutions that you might consider for a solution. One choice is an interior perimeter drain system. These systems run around the perimeter of your basement to provide an additional source of drainage for water that comes into the basement. 

Common Causes of Wet Interior Basements

Before you look for a solution, it’s important to understand what causes these issues. Knowing what leads to the moisture problem, or working with professionals who can help you pinpoint this information, can help ensure you truly get the best solution. 

The thing is, if you have a weakness in your home, especially in the basement, water is going to try to find a way in. Our basements are especially vulnerable, which is why you should take quick action if you notice a problem. 

These are some of the most common causes of moisture in the basement. 

Hydrostatic Pressure

The soil surrounding the basement accumulates moisture from everything. This includes morning dew, frost in the winter, rainfall, and other natural occurrences. The water flows downward into the soil, and it needs somewhere to travel. 

Your basement is in the direct path of the water, which creates pressure around the walls and floors, sometimes leading to cracks. 

Excessive Condensation

In some cases, you might have extra condensation in the basement because of high humidity levels. This can stem from improper ventilation, too much moisture making its way into the space, and other issues. 

Extra condensation can cause mold, mildew, and a host of other issues in your basement. 


Another cause of water in the basement is sloping outside of and around the structure. If the ground slopes toward the foundation, this causes moisture to travel that way as well. Ideally, you want the ground to slope away from the foundation. Otherwise, you may need some sort of internal drainage system to help navigate the water. 

Improper Drainage Problems

Probably the most common cause of water damage in the basement is improper drainage. When the drainage systems in place are not working properly, this can cause major issues with water. 

The water flow needs to be away from the structure, and there should never be anything obstructing or hindering that flow. 

Gutter Maintenance

Did you know that one of the most misunderstood basement water issues is gutters that aren’t properly maintained? If your gutters aren’t working properly, the chances of water in the basement can be pretty high. 

And it’s not just keeping the gutters cleaned. They need to be maintained as well. You should also ensure your downspouts are effectively transporting water away from the foundation. 

Untreated Cracks

Finally, cracks that are left open and untreated can lead to water in the basement. These cracks could continue to grow and expand if they are not filled or sealed to prevent them from doing so. 

Ways to Waterproof Your Basement

It’s important to work with a basement waterproofing company when you know that you have water issues with the basement. These professional companies can assess the space, determine what the underlying issues are, and provide you with the best solution. Their expertise will also be crucial during installation of anything new, like an interior drainage system. 

When it comes to waterproofing, there are both interior and exterior solutions. 

Interior Waterproofing Solutions

On the interior side you are more likely to find DIY methods, but you should know that many of these methods are only meant to be a short-term solution. Having professional solutions will be far more reliable. 

Here are a few common choices:

  • Drainage systems
  • Crack injection
  • Sealants
  • Moisture control

Exterior Waterproofing Solutions

There are also exterior solutions for waterproofing. In many cases these are far more expensive, aside from ensuring your guttering and downspouts are working effectively. 

Here are a few of the exterior solutions:

  • Extended downspouts
  • Retaining walls
  • Sloping
  • Excavation
  • Guttering

While you may need to take a look at things like your downspouts, gutters, or even the need for a retaining wall, there can be interior solutions that are far more affordable and still work effectively as a solution. 

Interior Perimeter Basement Drain System

Turning to an interior drain system could be an optimal solution. A perimeter drain system around the basement floor can help provide a place for any water that seeps in or accumulates to be re-directed away from the basement and outside of the home. 

Of the various solutions, this helps to effectively push water away, relieving hydrostatic pressure, and providing a path of redirection for that water. But how does it work? 

These systems are generally installed by digging a trench around the perimeter, placing perforated pipe in the trench, covering the pipe with a water-permeable material, and then layering gravel over the top. It looks nice, and the water can trickle through the gravel and material quickly to go into the pipe for redirection. 

If you feel like an interior perimeter basement drain system could be a valuable solution, be sure to work with a professional waterproofing company. They can determine whether this is your best solution and will work with you through the installation process.