Descending the basement stairs to find water on the floor is one of those homeownership problems that no one ever wants to face. Yet, thousands find themselves dealing with wet basements each year.
Recurring water infiltration issues do more than create cleanup issues. Instead, homes that have wet basements are much more likely to suffer major problems that have the potential to be very costly to address, including foundation damage, the development of toxic mold, and the creation of air quality issues for the occupants of the home.
If you are tired of dealing with recurring wet basement issues in your home and have become interested in installing a French drain system, this information can be helpful.
Types of French drain systems
French drain systems can be installed around the interior or exterior perimeter of the basement or foundation. Instead of entering the basement and settling on the floor, incoming water is channeled into the drain so that it can be pumped or drained safely away from the perimeter of the home.
While exterior French drain systems are often installed during the foundation construction phase of a new home, they can also be added to an existing home through a careful excavation process of the site. When French drains need to be added to the interior perimeter of the basement, concrete is removed to make room for drainage pipes, grates, and a sump pump to remove the water.
Problems addressed by a French drain system
When properly designed and installed, both interior and exterior French drain systems provide a very low maintenance way of keeping basements and crawlspaces dry. If a sump pump is included in the system, it is best to choose one that automatically turns on when water levels in the drainage pit reach a preselected level. Once the water has been drained, the pump cycles off until the water once again rises in the collection pit.
French drain systems can solve a variety of wet basement issues, including:
- when cracking in basement or foundation walls allows water to seep through
- when seams between the floor and walls begins to allow seepage
- when flood conditions cause water to infiltrate the home
Interior systems will also provide an effective solution for removing water from basements after a plumbing or appliance failure has occurred.
Homeowners should understand that soil conditions, terrain and other factors will need to be considered to decide on the best French drain system design for their needs. To get expert advice on installing any French drain system or other wet basement issue, homeowners should contact a reputable basement waterproofing contractor in their area.