A common practice among basement waterproofing professionals is to suggest the installation of a French drain system along the exterior perimeter of the home. This approach can be a problem.
To properly install an exterior French drain system, the contractor would need to follow through on a few destructive steps to complete the process.
First, they must clear out everything around the perimeter of your home. This clearing includes gardens, steps, porches, and anything else in the way. All of it would need to be removed.
Second, a trench would need to be excavated around the perimeter. After laying down a stone bed and a layer of filter fabric, the contractor will use the excavated soil to backfill the trench. After a year, that soil will settle, and the contractor will need to come back out to fill in more dirt.
The whole process can cost you up to $20,000, as well. That’s a lot of trouble for limited results. Regional Foundation & Crawl Space Repair does not recommend exterior French drain systems for this reason. Instead, we recommend using an interior basement drain installed along the interior perimeter of your basement or crawl space.
Failing French Drain Systems
Exterior French drainage systems date back to the 1920s. With such a rich history, if external French drain systems were the best at what they do, we would still be using them.
However, a French drain or exterior footing drain installation is just asking for trouble. Because these drainage systems are dug so far into the earth, it’s only a matter of time before they get clogged. Dirt, roots, and debris will fill them to the point of being useless.