The standard in basement waterproofing for many decades was to install a drainage system outside of the foundation walls in order to catch water and drain it away from the house. Unfortunately, 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 damage furniture, boxes, books, and anything else stored in the basement, and they require the water to be manually pumped out. Flooding basements can encourage mold growth and create odors that can rise up to the rest of the home. Flooding can also lead to wood rot, lowering of the home's market value, and eventual foundation damage.
When French drains are installed around a home, they are typically laid in a thick bed of gravel to protect them from mud and soil around the home. In some cases, a layer of filter fabric is also said to further protect the material from this soil. While this solution sounds ideal, over several years, mud and sand will make its way through the gravel and into the drain, clogging the pipe. If filter fabric is used, it's only a matter of time before it clogs entirely and keeps foundation water from entering the drain at all!
Sooner or later, the 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, and other landscaping located around the edge of the house will need to be removed. The process is invasive, and a year after the soil has been filled back into the excavated area, it will settle and need to be regraded so that water is not directed towards the home. The new system that's been installed around your foundation will be the same as the old one that failed, which means that you can look forward to a similar situation in another few years.
To make matters worse, the exterior French drain is expected to discharge the water away from the foundation with no sump pump. This means that the French drain must run downhill to be effective- a situation that's not often possible. French drains that discharge to a septic system often run uphill, and they can't discharge more than the holding size of the system.
Alternatively, the entire excavation can be avoided by installing an interior perimeter drainage system. With this process, the basement floor is removed around the perimeter without damaging the footing. As water flows in through the foundation wall floor joint, it filters through a bed of gravel and into a perimeter floor drain system designed to be superior in shape and design to a French drain. From there, it's directed to a sump pump and drained beyond the foundation soil. In the unlikely event of a clog in the drainage system, it can easily be serviced without the need for external excavation. With an annual maintenance of the sump pump basement waterproofing system, it can be kept running smoothly, ensuring a dry basement all the time.
At one point in history, a French drain was the best option for foundation waterproofing. However, with more basements flooding every day, newer and better systems have been created that can better preserve your subterranean space. When it comes to foundation waterproofing , it's time to get rid of the old and embrace the new advancements in the industry.
Total Basement Finishing
60 Silvermine Road
Seymour, CT 06483