Lungboy & Larry Home Improvement Tips

Larry the Handyman's Blog

Do I Need A French Drain?
Posted 1/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
The French have given the world so many great things: the wine, the cheese, the fries…but what about the drains? No, that honor belongs to Henry French who first created a drainage system to channel away rain and groundwater back in the 1800s.
 
Nowadays, people install French drains to solve the problem of a wet basement. If you’re considering installing one, think about what your plans are for the space. Do you want to finish it for more living space or do you use it only for storage? French drains can be expensive to install. Interior drains require jack hammering the perimeter of the concrete floor, filling the void with stone and PVC pipe that will channel the collected water to a sump pump, which will remove the water from the basement. Exterior drains ring the foundation, collecting rainwater from downspouts and groundwater from below. A proper exterior drain should be placed at the bottom of the foundation walls.
 
Either version requires a tremendous amount of labor in excavating concrete or soil. $50-$100 per linear foot is not unheard of for a cost, which brings us back to the question: Do you want to have that finished basement?
 
If there’s a swimming pool downstairs after each rainfall, you really have no choice. If there’s only moisture collecting on the walls and a humidity problem, good news! There are other less costly ways of solving the problem.
Posted By: Larry Egan  

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  1. MatthewD_11 posted on 02/23/2011 02:50 PM
    Larry, this is great info. We are thinking about putting in a drain at our house. I have been hearing a lot about these basement finshing companies claiming they can stop the water in the basement. What do you think of them and would a french drain be something that they would suggest?
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