What is French drain basement?

A French drain (also called a weeping tile, drain tile, perimeter drain or sub-surface drain) is a common basement waterproofing solution. It's a trench containing a perforated pipe that redirects surface water and groundwater away from the foundation.

Are French drains effective in basement?

While a French drain basement waterproofing solution is more expensive than other waterproofing methods, it's highly effective. In fact, it may be the most effective basement waterproofing method around because it doesn't just stop water from getting in; it channels water away from the foundation.

What is the purpose of a French drain in a basement?

Exterior French drains function to divert water around the exterior perimeter of your house. Interior French drains, on the other hand, function to divert and carry away water and moisture out from the interior of your basement. This is one of the most effective systems for treating severe damp problems in basements.


Is a French drain a good idea?

French drain systems are incredibly effective because, unlike typical surface drains, they collect water over the entire length of the drain as opposed to one dedicated area. The force of gravity helps to guide water along a reliably smooth path to the desired discharge point.

Does a French drain need maintenance?

Fortunately, there's not much regular maintenance needed for a French drain to function. However, over time, debris and leaves can build up in the drainpipe's holes, compromising its effectiveness. To prevent this, clean out and snake the French drain once a year.


French Drain Installation - Arid Basement Waterproofing



How long does a French drain last?

When enough sand, clay or silt gets past the fabric, the gravel spaces fill and the effectiveness of the french drain ends. This is why most experts state that a French drain is not a long-term solution to a drainage problem: You have to dig it up and reinstall it every eight to 10 years.

How much does it cost to install a French drain in a basement?

Depending on the size of your basement, a French drain inside your home can cost between $5,000 and $13,500 on average, or $40 to $100 per linear foot. Add a sump pump to the design for $650 to $2,000, bringing the project total to $5,650 to $15,500.

Do French drains freeze in winter?

While usually a good strategy to prevent foundation damage, French drains may get damaged by winter thaw and freeze cycles.

Do I need a sump pump if I have a French drain?

If you have an excess of water in your basement, you may want to consider both a sump pump and French drain to waterproof your home. The French drain channels the water to the sump pump pit, which pumps the water out of the home much quicker that a pipe alone would do.


How do I know if I need a French drain?

You can always consult a professional, but below are some sure signs that indicate you needing a French drain:
  1. Water In Your Crawl Space. Having water in your crawl space can end up damaging the items in your home, and even your house itself. ...
  2. Flooded/Soggy Backyard or Driveway. ...
  3. Constructing A Retaining Wall.


Are french drains inside or outside?

French Drains, Foundation Drains, Perimeter Drains

As described above, a French Drain is a perforated plastic pipe, buried underground. It effectively collects and relocates water to avoid foundation damage.

What is the cost of a French drain system?

According to Fixr, the average French drain costs $4,500. An exterior drain located fairly close to the surface could cost as little as $1,000, or $25 per linear foot on average. Drains installed under your basement floor could cost $2,000 or more. Expect to pay $60 to $70 per linear foot for installation.

Do French drains get clogged?

But, just like any other type of drain, French drains are susceptible to clogging. Soil and debris have a tendency to build up inside the pipes, eventually stopping water from flowing altogether. To avoid letting water back up into your home, follow this French drain cleaning guide.


How do you winterize a French drain?

French Drain Winter Care
  1. Insulate Above the Frost Line. ...
  2. Consider Adding More Slope to your French Drain. ...
  3. Install a Dry Well at the End of your Cold-Weather Drainage System. ...
  4. Create a Flare System When A Dry Well Isn't a Possibility. ...
  5. Do NOT Tie Downspouts into your French Drain.


How deep do you dig a French drain?

French drain depth: About 8 inches to 2 feet deep should be 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 be deeper.

What is the purpose of a French drain?

French Drains are primarily used to drain groundwater from gardens and around the foundations of buildings. French drains are designed to move water that is trapped in the ground away or towards an area. They are best used in soil that is prone to frequent saturation from rain or flooding.

Where does a French drain end?

The two ends of a French drain system are: The drain field, or high end, where excess ground water enters the drain pipes. The drain exit, or lowest point, where water leaves the system.


What can go wrong with a French drain?

Clogs. One of the biggest problems with French drains is that the pipes can become filled with silt, sediment and other debris, causing water to overflow or even backflow from the pipes and into the house. Cleaning the pipes is a costly job as they will need to be dug up.

How does water get into a French drain?

Water runs into a gravel-filled trench, then into perforated pipe at the bottom of the trench. Water travels freely through the pipe, which empties a safe distance from the house. The trench bottom should be sloped about 1 inch for every 8 feet in the direction you want water to flow.

What is the difference between a French drain and a trench drain?

Aside from what we've listed here, the difference between a French drain and a trench drain is that a French drain is used for water that is underground while a trench drain diverts excess water from a surface.
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