A French Drain Keeps Your Basement Dry
French drains originated as a way to drain farmland and are generally considered to be an American innovation, named after the man who popularized their use, not after a country of origin. They were first constructed of terra cotta roofing tiles set one on top of the other to form a crude pipe that allowed water infiltration from the sides. This is why the system is known commonly today as drain tile.
When used in residential construction, the French drain sits alongside the footings of a foundation and creates a space to alleviate the pressure created by water underground. The water drains into the pipe instead and is carried off to a sump pump.
An interior installation is recommended when hydrostatic pressure under the foundation forces water into the basement through the cove joint between wall and floor or through cracks in the floor. This pressure is created by a rise in the water table, usually caused by heavy rains.
An interior French drain is installed by removing a strip of concrete floor around the perimeter and digging a shallow trench to the base of the footings. A bed of washed gravel is poured and perforated, corrugated plastic pipe, wrapped in a filter sock, is laid on top and connected to a sump basin. More gravel covers the pipe and the concrete floor is replaced.
PVC is used in exterior installations because of its strength, which makes it more resistant to soil pressure. Once installed, it is covered with more gravel and the excavation is backfilled.
French Drains For Basements
An interior or exterior French drain might be the extra step your basement requires in order to prevent water damage. The solution may be a simple, do-it-yourself project or entail the opinion of an experienced contractor.
If the necessary steps to waterproof a basement have been taken and leakage problems still arise, then it may be necessary to consider a French drain. French drains are ideal for keeping moisture and water seepage away from a basement, allowing a home and its contents to stay free of damage.
How Much Does A French Drain Cost
French Drain Installation Costs at a Glance
- Average total cost: $5,000
- Average price per linear foot: $10
- Basement drain cost: $5,000-$13,500
- Basement drain price per linear foot: $40-$100
- Sump pump: $150-$300
- DIY installation cost: $4-$8
Worried about a damp basement, groundwater issues or flooding? If your answer is oui, installing a French drain may help. These drains can reduce flood risk by preventing surface water from pooling. If your yard is flat, the presence of standing water could be a tell-tale sign your home is at risk of water damage.
A French drain can rid your property of standing water. Luckily, installation isnt overly complicated. Heres a cost breakdown.
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Clean Existing Gutter System
A gutter system filled with leaves and debris cant function properly. So make regular gutter cleanings a part of your routine home maintenance.
You could clean your gutters yourself or hire a pro. While DIY will be cheaper, weigh that against the safety precautions you must take while working on a ladder.
If there are lots of leaf-shedding trees around your home, consider adding leaf guards to your gutters. Leaf guard screens fit over your existing gutters and allow rainwater to filter in.
Why You May Need A French Drain In The Basement
Buying a home with a basement is common in the Northwest. Sometimes they are a finished basement and sometimes they are not. When we buy a house, we arent expecting there to be a wet basement. If this is the case, do you need a French drain in the basement? The answer can be Yes if you need water to be rerouted away from the home. However, there are also other alternativeswith pros and cons.
Lets look at why you need to know about French drains, what they are, pros and cons of French drains and other types of drains, how a sump pump helps, how to prevent water in the basement, and when to call a professional.
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Why Do I Need External Waterproofing
The ultimate goal is a dry internal environment in your basement or cellar. Any walls in direct contact with the earth may experience hydrostatic water pressure. You therefore need to effectively deal with this pressure to stop water from entering the structure.
You can tank the basement structure using conventional barrier tanking. However, if tanking is subjected to sufficient hydrostatic pressure then any slight defect will be exploited. Also, barrier tanking is generally non-maintainable, which also increases the risk of failure over time. A complete external waterproofing system including an internal cavity membrane is the best option for mitigating risk.
French Drain Systems And Basement Waterproofing
The basic installation procedure consists of digging a trench approximately one foot deep by one foot wide inside the interior perimeter of the basement. The trench is lined with a filtration fabric called non-woven geotextile. This protects the pipe & the stone that will allow water to move through the trench. After the fabric, perforated PVC pipe is installed and covered with clean stone. Concrete is then spread over the trench to protect the system and give you back full use of the floor. After tying the drain system into the sump pit your wet basement problems are a thing of the past.
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Remodeling Projects You Can Do In A Weekend
One of the easiest ways to install a French drain without professional help is to implement the system from the exterior of a home. This allows for the drain to be positioned within the highest point of the yard which is often the culprit behind water runoff that leaks into a basement. An exterior French drain is installed by placing a drainpipe under the soil and will work to divert water away from the foundation of a home.
An interior French drain system is much more complicated in the sense that it requires digging into the foundation that lines the basement walls. This project would most likely require the help of a professional, assuming that large power tools, like a jackhammer, are unavailable to the homeowner.
Flowguard Thin Floor Drain System
Sometimes the concrete floor in a basement is too thin for a drain to be installed on top of the footer. If we did install it on top of the footer, the drain would stick up past the concrete slab.
We usually address this challenge with our FlowGuard Thin Floor System. This system is designed to sit in front of the footing in a bed of drainage stone. After installation, the concrete floor is restored over it.
Like our other drain systems, FlowGuard includes a wall flange, which extends up the wall to direct any leaking water to your sump pump system.
More on our FlowGuard Drain System
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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Basement Drain
For an interior basement drain, the average cost is $50 a linear foot, with labor making up about $35 to $40 a linear foot and material making up the rest. For 100 linear feet of installation, this makes labor about $3,500 to $4,000 out of the total $5,000 project cost.
What do you need to know about French drains?
A French drain 1 is a very simple setup that helps water drain, redirecting it from where you do not want it to somewhere harmless like a sewer drain 2 or street. Many types of French drains exist, and the size, length, depth, and location of the drain all impact the overall cost of the project.
Cost Of Installation Supplies
To determine the cost of supplies needed to install your french drain you will need to determine the linear distance of your basement walls.
- $60 $70 per 100 feet | 4 perforated drain pipe A drainage pipe is placed in the trench to collect water and guide it into your sump basin.
- $20 per cubic foot | Drainage gravel This will be used to fill your trench before placing the drainage pipe. Youll need approximately 2 square feet of gravel per linear foot of trench.
- $250 $500+ | Sump pump Your sump pump will remove the water collected by your drain. The quality and efficiency of your pump will determine the overall cost.
- $40 $60 | Sump pump basin This container will collect the runoff water and house the sump pump.
- $5-10 | Plastic couplers to connect pieces of drain pipe.
- $3 $5 per square foot | Concrete The last step of the process involves replacing the concrete on top of the drainage trench.
- $70 $120 per day | Powered concrete wet saw, to cut straight edges before breaking out the floor.
- $80 per day | Jackhammer rental, to break up the concrete slab for removal.
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Drytrak Baseboard Drain Pipe
Most foundations come in three pieces: walls, floor, and footing. Other foundations come with the floor and footing as one piece, and the walls are installed on top as a separate piece.
Monolithic foundations have exceptionally thick floors around the edges. Jackhammering through these thick concrete floors is very time-consuming and creates a lot of dust!
To avoid these issues, we recommend the DryTrak® Baseboard Drain Pipe System. This unique drain system installs above the floor, eliminating the dust and labor of jackhammering.
More on our DryTrak® Drain Pipe
French Drains Can And Will Clog
A french drain uses a perforated pipe to filter and collect water. Water flows into your basement through the wall, from the join between wall and floor, then moves over to the french drain trench. Some water may come up from under the floor, seeping into the gravel and then making its way into the pipe.
All of this water brings silt, soil, and other debris with it. Anything that the gravel doesnt filter out will get into the drainage. Over time, this builds up and clogs the system. Thats why the system is open- so you can find and remove these clogs.
Acculevels waterproofing drainage system goes under the floor, and is permanently covered with concrete. Water that seeps in through the wall or from the join between wall and floor is blocked by the dimple board. Its routed by the dimple board directly into the water drainage- without getting your actual basement wet.
Our under-floor drainage systems are designed to either fit on or next to the concrete footer that supports your foundation walls. These systems filter out clogging materials, so that there is no need to clean them out.
We guarantee our water drainage systems will not clog or fail for the life of your structure.
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Where Do French Drains Go In A Basement
French drains come in two types interior and exterior. Interior French drains are located beneath the edges of a basement floor where they direct seepage to a sump pit. Theyre inexpensive when added to new construction, but installing one after a home is built is costly especially if the foundation is concrete.
French Drain System Installation
A consistently wet basement can cause a vast array of problems to your home, not the least of which is a significant decrease in property value. A professionally installed French drain system by our experts can keep your basement dry for good, allowing you to maintain your most valuable asset-your home.
REMEMBER: A WATERPROOFING SYSTEM SHOULD NEVER BE INSTALLED WITHOUT CORRECTING GUTTERS, DOWNSPOUTS, AND GRADING FIRST.
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Maintain Landscaping Near House
As beautiful as trees and shrubs may look framing your home, they could be the cause of your flooded basement. Their roots can crack basement walls and create channels for water to seep inside.
Regularly trim the branches of trees or shrubs near your basement. If a particular plant is overgrown or requires lots of maintenance to stay contained, consider moving it to another area on your property.
Why It Is Important To Know About A French Drain In The Basement
If you are having water problems in your basement, you may need a French drain. What is this? It is a trench that has a perforated pipe that takes the groundwater and surface water and diverts them away from the home. It lies in the interior of the perimeter of the basement and is below ground level. They are necessary for homes to keep the water away and to keep mold from growing in the basement.
However, there are other alternatives as well.
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What Is A Sump Pump And How Does It Work With A French Drain
Many people who need an interior French drain system as a result of water pooling in their basement also install a sump pump. The French drain installation cost along with a sump pump can cost between $4,650 to $17,000. The sump pump is a pump that collects the water from the French drain, and pumps it outside your home in order to keep your basement dry.
What Is A Basement French Drain
If you are having water problems in your basement, you may need a French drain. What is this? It is a trench that has a perforated pipe that takes the groundwater and surface water and diverts them away from the home. It lies in the interior of the perimeter of the basement and is below ground level.
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How To Make A Basement French Drain
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A French drain removes water from a basement by collecting moisture in a shallow trench, pulling it into a perforated pipe, and expelling it to a basin and sump pump. Named after Henry French, who popularized the technology in 1859, the drain is a popular and effective method for drying out basements that are constantly effected by rainwater and other runoff. Because of the need to dig into the foundation of the building, installing a French drain is a major project and should only be tackled by those with significant building or maintenance experience. Before putting a French drain in your basement, you should already have a basin, sump pump, and exterior drain to which the water collected in the basement can flow.XResearch source
Should A French Drain Be Against Foundation
Its important to install French drains around foundations because a French drain can prevent water from causing foundation damage. This is often a problem in the Dallas, Fort Worth area. When water enters or gets beneath your foundation it can leads to foundation cracks, heaving and many other issues.
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How To Install A French Drain In My Basement
French drain can either be installed in your homes interior, under the basement floor, or outside the home, buried in the soil along the foundation footing. Both solutions are very effective for a wet basement. French drains prevent water from draining out of your house, but they dont prevent water from getting into your basement. French drains are usually installed at the bottom of a basement or crawl space.
The drain is connected to the houses main water supply line, and the water is pumped through the drain and into the ground. If youre installing a drain in an interior space, youll need to make sure that its buried deep enough so that water cant get out. Youll also want to ensure that your drain isnt blocked by anything, such as a wall or ceiling, that could impede the flow of water.
How To Install French Drain In Basement
French drain depth is about 8 inches to 2 feet deep, which is sufficient for many water-diverting projects, though related systems, such as those built around foundations and sub-ground living spaces, as well as the bases of retaining walls, may need to be deeper. Drainage is the process of removing water from a building or structure.
It can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but the most common method is through the use of a drain pipe, which is a pipe that is attached to the bottom of the building. The pipe is usually made of steel or concrete, and is connected to a water supply or a sewer system.
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Does French Drain Need An Outlet
A properly designed french drain system does not require an outlet. French drain does not need an inlet on just one end. As shown in the diagram below, you can build a drain to accept water along its length, and then distribute the water over the entire length of the pipe.
Drain is a simple system that can be constructed in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is drill a hole in your soil and insert a piece of PVC pipe into it. Then, attach a drain plug to the end of your pipe and youre ready to go.