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Exterior French Drain Installations
French drains will typically be installed after the home's foundation is laid. A layer of gravel is laid down around the foundation's perimeter, with French drain laid on top. Gravel is then laid on top of the pipe. Sometimes, filter fabric is then laid on top of the pipe to keep finer sediment from the earth from passing through the gravel. Foundation soil is then backfilled on top of the system, and the gap around the foundation is filled in.
This old-fashioned waterproofing system is very limited and tends to collect sediment and clog frequently. These systems have been known to go ten years without a problem, but they unfortunately provide a limited solution that will eventually need to be serviced. As the filter fabric that was designed to keep small sediments out of the pipe does its job, the fabric itself will eventually be overwhelmed with material and will clog.
French Drain Problems
If a French drain or drain tile basement waterproofing system has no filter fabric installed, mud, sand, and sediments will have no barrier when they make their way through the gravel to clog the pipe. Homeowners will eventually find that they need alternate ways to deal with the problems as these clogged systems fail.
Eventually, an exterior French drain will need to be serviced. When it does, the entire perimeter of the foundation will need to be excavated. Any landscaping located around the edges of the house- gardens, steps, shrubbery, porches, walkways, and any other landscaping must be removed so that the foundation may be excavated.
The failed exterior French Drain will then be replaced with an identical one. After this, loose soil will be filled back in and will hold even more foundation water. After a year, the earth against your foundation will settle and need to be regraded once more. In a decade, or perhaps longer, the whole process must be repeated again.
Often, houses that have a flooded basement also have a failed exterior French drain system. Contact us for a free consultation on your specific drainage situation.
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