French Drains and Why You Should Have ‘Em

The standard in basement waterproof for many decades was to install a drainage system outside the foundation walls in order to catch water and drain it away from the home. Exterior foundation drains are failing all over the country, causing basements to flood at great inconvenience and expense to the homeowner. Failing exterior French drain systems harm furniture, boxes, books, and anything else stored in the basement, plus they require the water to be manually pumped out.

Flooding basements can promote mold growth and create odors that may rise up to the rest of the house. Flooding may also lead to wood rot, lowering of the home’s market value, and eventual foundation damage.

When Frenchman drains are installed around a home, they’re typically laid in a thick bed of gravel to defend them from mud and soil around the house. In several cases, a layer of filtering fabric is also said to further protects the material from this soil. While this solution seems ideal, over several years, mud and sand will make its way throughout the gravel and in the drain, clogging the pipe. If filter fabric is used, it is only a matter of time before it clogs up and keeps foundation water from entering the drain at all! French drain and their filter fabric will need to be cleaned.

When they do, the entire perimeter of the foundation must be excavated. Your foliage, gardens, steps, sidewalks, porches, along with other landscapes located around the edge of the home will need to be removed. The website for this info has been linked to here. The process is invasive, and a year after the soil has been filled back into the excavated area, it’ll settle and need to be regraded in order that water isn’t directed towards the house. The new system that is been installed around your foundation will be the same as the old one that failed, meaning that you could anticipate a comparable situation in another few years.

To make matters worse, the exterior French drain is likely to discharge the water away from the foundation with no sump pump. Which implies that the French drain must run down-hill to be effective- a situation that is not frequently possible. French drains that discharge to a septic system frequently run uphill, plus they cannot discharge more than the sealing dimension of the system. The entire excavation can be avoided by installing an internal perimeter drainage system. With this process, the basement floor is removed around the perimeter without damaging the footing. As water flows in throughout the foundation wall floor joint, it filters through a bed of gravel and into a perimeter floor drain system designed to be superior in form and design to a French drain.

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