French Drain Installation

What is a French drain? Call 586-703-0112

A French drain is a type of waterproofing for a serious wet basement problem. A French drain system involves putting in a type of pipe known as a drain tile beneath the basement floor to drain away the water that is leaking into the basement. If there is a lot of water leaking through your basement/foundation walls, a major flood condition could be possible at any time, say, with the next rain storm. Patching or plugging just won’t work if you have serious basement leaks.

We can go into a basement and see water on the floor. If we determine that the water is coming up through the floor, around the edges and around openings, we know that the job requires a French drainage system. In a basement, the floor is generally 7 feet below the outside surface of the dirt. If you have water ponding on the basement floor, that is most likely an indication that the dirt on the other side of your wall is probably soaked with water up to the top. That means you have 7 feet of water trying to get in. That is a lot of hydrostatic pressure on your basement walls. The water has a tendency to push down along the foundation wall on the outside and sneak underneath the footing or the joint where the foundation and the footing meet. This would flood the floor underneath the concrete, causing water to leak up through the crack around the outside perimeter of the floor, and any openings like floor drains or expansion cracks.

Years and years ago, in areas where groundwater was an issue, drains could have been made out of large gravel. These were called a blind drains or rubble drains or rock drains. These type of drains, however, would get plugged up much faster than something with a pipe, but it was better than nothing

A French drain has a pipe, usually PVC. This pipe is normally called weeping tile or drain tile. These drains have this name because they have some sort of holes that allow water to drain into the pipes. The drains allow water to flow downward into them at an easy pace. We use large enough drainpipes so that they will not get clogged easily. Also we use gravel around the pipes to act as a filter to keep mud and dirt and clay out of the pipe. We like to end our French drains on the inside of the house at a sump basin where we will install a sump pump. The pump will channel water that has flowed into the drain, keeping the clean groundwater separated from the basement sewage drain.

These perimeter drains install fairly quickly on the inside, and as soon as we are done, they begin to make a difference.

If you are having any type of water problems in your basement, call us. We will be glad to take a look at your basement and see what is going on. We want to help you prevent basement problems. Please call us at 586-703-0112. You will be glad you did.

Author: Robert B McGuire