Let’s start with the problem you are trying to correct. You have a foundation that is made of hollow Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs) otherwise known as Concrete Block or Cinder Block. They are taking on water and that water is leaking into the basement.
So what you are asking about is a PVC baseboard that will act as a delivery system to bring water from the leaking walls to the sump pump or an actual cove molding where the floor meets the wall.
There is a type of product is supposed to look like a piece of plastic molding at the base of the wall but is actually a pipe of sorts. This is known in the Basement Waterproofing industry as a “Beaver Run”. It is a hollow plastic cove molding at the bottom of the wall. A Beaver run or PVC baseboard is an above the floor system that is epoxied to both the wall and floor.
A Beaver run is an old term for building a dam in front of the wall which was also called a top cove system. The idea behind the beaver run is that this dam will bring the water to the sump pit.
Here is how it is supposed to work:
- You start by drilling weep holes into the hollow cavities in the CMUs right at the floor level.
- The PVC Baseboard, which has holes in it where it adheres to the wall, is then installed along the walls and sealed to the walls and floor with epoxy.
- The water from the foundation weeps from the holes in the CMUs into the hollow baseboard and is directed to the sump pump.
There are many problems with this type of system:
- It is not pitched to the sump pump the way a French Drain System is.
- It does not relieve the hydrostatic pressure from the subfloor area under the basement floor.
- It takes away floor space along the perimeter.
- It is unattractive especially when compared to a French Drain which is below the floor and basically invisible.
There is only one advantage to this type of system:
- It is a Do-It-Yourself project and therefore cheaper. Even if you hire a company that installs it for you it should be cheaper than a French Drain because no excavating is occurring.
What is needed here is a French Drain System to drain the water from the CMUs as well as. The beaver baseboard above the floor system is unreliable compared to a French Drain. When it comes to the foundation of your home cheaper is not better. You need a real French Drain, not a beaver run.