The Rise of Environmentally Friendly Basement Waterproofing


Traditionally, basement waterproofing relies heavily on materials like plastic membranes and concrete coatings, which effectively block water but can trap moisture within the surrounding soil.  While these methods are undeniably efficient, they raise environmental concerns.  This growing awareness has led to exploring alternative solutions, particularly those focusing on permeable basement waterproofing. What do you consider about AOB Basement Waterproofing.

What is Permeable Subsurface Drainage (PSD)?

PSD systems differ from conventional methods in managing water around the foundation.  Instead of blocking water entirely, PSD allows it to pass through a specially designed,  permeable fabric lining. This fabric acts as a filter, allowing water to drain away from the foundation walls while preventing soil particles from clogging the drainage system.

Benefits of Permeable Subsurface Drainage Systems

  • Environmentally Friendly: PSD solutions promote natural drainage, allowing water to return to the ground while minimizing disruption to the surrounding soil ecosystem.
  • Reduced Hydrostatic Pressure: By allowing water to drain freely, PSD systems help reduce the hydrostatic pressure exerted on the foundation walls, which can cause cracks and leaks.
  • Improved Air and Moisture Balance: Traditional methods can trap moisture in the soil, leading to mold and mildew growth. PSD promotes breathability and helps maintain a healthier moisture balance in the basement environment.
  • Potential for LEED Certification: For homeowners seeking sustainable building practices, utilizing PSD systems can contribute towards points in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.

Types of Permeable Subsurface Drainage Systems

There are two primary types of PSD systems:

  • Drain Matting Systems: These consist of a dimpled plastic mat with a filter fabric backing. The mat creates an air gap between the foundation wall and the surrounding soil, allowing water to drain freely through the fabric.
  • Stone-Filled Drainage Ditches: This approach involves creating a trench filled with crushed stone alongside the foundation wall. The fabric lining prevents soil from clogging the rocks, allowing water to drain efficiently.

Considerations for PSD Systems

While PSD systems offer significant environmental benefits, they may not suit every situation.  Here are some points to consider:

  • Soil Conditions: The effectiveness of PSD depends on the soil type. Sandy or well-draining soils are ideal, while clay-heavy soils may require additional measures to ensure efficient drainage.
  • Water Table Levels: High water table levels can overwhelm a PSD system. A thorough evaluation by a waterproofing professional is crucial to determine if your site is appropriate for this method.
  • Local Building Codes: Some local building codes may have specific requirements for drainage systems. Consulting with your local building inspector is essential before implementing a PSD solution.

Finding a Qualified Waterproofing Professional

Due to the complexities involved, the installation of a PSD system should be entrusted to a qualified basement waterproofing company experienced in these innovative solutions. They can assess your specific needs and site conditions and design a customized, effective, and environmentally responsible PSD system.


Permeable subsurface drainage represents a promising basement waterproofing approach, balancing effective water management and environmental responsibility.  By considering this innovative technology, homeowners can create a dry and healthy basement while contributing to a more sustainable future.  Remember, exploring alternatives and consulting with a qualified professional like those at AOB Basement Waterproofing (330-969-6645) in Akron, Ohio (809 Evans Ave, Akron, OH 44305) can lead you toward the most sustainable and effective waterproofing solution for your basement.

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