French drain systems involve something called a perforated piping installed in the surrounding areas of a house’s basement; depending on the case, it can be installed in the exterior foundation footings or right under the basement slab. Clean crusted stones are added on top of the excavated areas. Using flexible piping that features tiny slits is not advisable since there’s a high possibility for clogging due to minerals, iron bacteria or silts. For PVC piping, the direction of the holes should be facing upwards; all the minerals, iron bacteria and silts tend to accumulate at the bottom of the French drain.
When Do I Need French Drains?
Well aside from just wanting to install a French drain as preventive measures, below are four definite signs that you should seriously consider getting it installed in the near future.
- Water getting into the lally columns.
- Water getting in from all the cracks in the basement floor.
- Leaks found on walls, especially of the walls are made of materials like cement, fieldstone, brick or cinder.
- Water getting into the basement’s floor as well as the foundation wall seam.
If the soil in which the house is built on has an abundance of mud, silt or is definitely unstable then proper drainage fabrics need to be applied before any pipe installation occurs in order to avoid pipe clogging. Foundations made of blocks require a half inch hole drilled in each bottom bock close to the floor level. Every piping is back filled with ¾” blue stone or washed gravel. Plastic cove base drain is installed on the foundation wall. 2 ½” of the concrete is added right on top of the gravel in order to finish the system; cove bases provide a small space right in the middle of the wall and floor.