The overall answer is yes. You can. However, there are many types of drainage systems and techniques for installing them. Therefore, this page is intended to familiarize you with the concepts of a perimeter drainage system and how they should work in conjunction with other water management systems and InSoFast panels in your basement.
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide whether or not to use a drainage system, how to install it, and how to best integrate it with InSoFast.
A Perimeter Drainage System is essentially an underground gutter surrounding your foundation that redirects intruding sources of ground water away from your home. They can be installed inside or outside of the home. Modern systems typically include three main components: A filter, a porous fill, and a weeped drainage channel.
The filter will prevent finer particles from clogging the system while allowing water to pass into the porous fill. Usually gravel, the fill surrounds the channel and slows the flow of water as it finds its way into the channel through bottom-facing weep holes. Water that fills into the channel is then directed away from the home. If necessary, a sump pump may be added to suck water out of the system mechanically.
If you have water flowing into your basement from the bottom of your wall or floor joint you will most likely benefit from a perimeter drainage system. However, this is one solution to one problem. It’s not a cure-all, so beware that it does not inadvertently lead to other problems.
Before going ahead with a drainage system, you may want to research waterproofing. We have a page on that, too.
Take heed in the fact that an interior system involves creating a hole in your basement floor. And just like a boat with a hole, the laws of nature can be pretty ruthless in their struggle to achieve balance. Wet seeks dry, low pressure seeks high. This hole becomes a pathway for water vapor and other soil gasses to enter your basement and you will likely need some sort of dehumidification system to mitigate.
As is always the case, the situation will be unique to your home. Discuss it with a building official or contractor.
Not always and it will most certainly increase your electric bill! Dehumidification treats a symptom of the problem, but not its root cause.
Below-grade, such as in a basement, moisture can come from many sources. It can seep through unprotected concrete from the ground, leak through a storm window, or simply be in the air. Keep in mind that the human body is nearly 75% water. We are living, breathing, perspiring super sponges.
InSoFast panels can prevent a humidity problem from becoming a mold-producing moisture problem. But again, you should never consider this a single-step solution. InSoFast panels excel at moderating moisture in your walls because of their engineered moisture control channels. These channels ensure that water does not get trapped in walls by giving it room to flow and are especially effective when they can direct any excess back into a perimeter drainage system.
Note the phrase “back into.” These are a precautionary feature designed to prevent bad things from becoming worse. It would be far more effective to stop the problem before it begins. For instance, if you have moisture seeping through the walls, consider sealing them with a waterproofing agent.
Imagine your walls are like the surface of cold soda can. On a hot summer day little beads of moisture will condense on the can due to the juxtaposition of warm air against a cold surface. Now consider the effect of wrapping the can in a koozie. The condensation is halted because there is a barrier between the two opposing temperatures.
InSoFast is the koozie. The panels form a barrier between your warm room and cold walls that prevents condensation from occurring.
First off, identify which kind of perimeter drainage system will be installed in your basement. We suggest letting your contractor know you’d like to use InSoFast and give them ample time to figure out the best integration method. To ensure a smooth process, purchase one of our samples before investing in panels for your entire basement and have your contractor take a look at it. The sample will allow them to identify the pros and cons of using InSoFast with your particular application.
Beyond that, the two most important aspect of an integration are ensuring that the InSoFast drainage channels interface with the floor systems drainage channels and that the finished result is completely air-sealed. This will fortify a “closed-loop ecosystem” that prevents the soil gas and moisture from leaking into your room. Be sure to seal off the panels at the top of the wall and where the bottom of the panels meet the perimeter hole.
Highly likely. InSoFast is a very adaptable product that can be modified to fit most systems. As with a new system, first determine what kind it is and consider speaking with a professional contractor (ideally, the one who installed it) who might be able to direct you.
Check locally for a professional waterproofer. We recommend contacting the Basement Health Pros for some tips and/or to find a reliable contractor. We’ve been working with these guys for a number of years and their members are pretty big InSoFast fans. Just guide them through the basic info of your project and they’ll work you through it.
It’s very important to think ahead in order to invest responsibly in your basement renovation. Following these tips will help result in a pleasant mold-free basement. For basement renovation inspiration check out our InSoFast Basements Board on Pinterest.