Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain

 
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:33 PM   #1
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Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


Hey gents,

I don't normally hump this kind of job but it is for a friend I owe a favor too. When I first looked at it my thought was a french drain would take care of him but after reading many posts here on ct I started to wonder if it would solve the prob entirely. I would love any feedback anyone might have to offer.

The situation.

He has an active leak, very intermittent, he says even on a hard rain it may not flow. I tried to question if he was getting water after extended periods of heavy/intermittent rain trying to determine if it was a saturation vs. immediate gutter runoff prob. All his gutters pretty much drop right at the building. The lay of the property and the neighbors property pretty much throws all runoff from both right down along his wall it seemed to me.

On the drawing the ellipse inside at the wall midpoint was an old leak that somebody dealt with by an epoxy injection, it has been dry since. This old leak was about 4' high on the wall which would make near ground level.

The ellipse on the drawing at the corner is the current leak it is about 2' up on the wall. There wasn't any water infiltration at the slab that I saw or that he pointed out.

Initial plan.

My original thought was to french drain (I have done a couple) along the line in the drawing that start in back and runs down between the two houses terminating at the street. I would lay in a drainage pipe to pick up his three gutter sand run that in parallel (above) the french drain. The french drain I was going to put 3' down which would put it about 1'-2' above slab.

I want to solve this problem once, which is why I am inquiring about the footer drain. That would be a bitch in the tight space and bring the cost up to a level that may make his head explode so I don't want to do more than necessary (who does?).

I have been beginning to educate him on the destructiveness of water sloshing around in his foundation wall and that just stopping up the leak is only a) solving his "problem" temporarily and b) setting him up for a much bigger long term problem. I have been letting him know that what he needs to do is get the water away from the *outside* of his wall.

So pictures included, any questions fire away.
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Wet basement french drain vs. footer drain-surfacedrainageplan.png   Wet basement french drain vs. footer drain-img_0002.jpg   Wet basement french drain vs. footer drain-img_0004.jpg  
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:36 PM   #2
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


additional pics
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Wet basement french drain vs. footer drain-img_0005.jpg   Wet basement french drain vs. footer drain-img_0008.jpg   Wet basement french drain vs. footer drain-img_0016.jpg  

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Old 03-17-2010, 04:42 PM   #3
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


lost my ellipses there.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:55 PM   #4
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


l can see the rain pouring of the nieghbours house in a heavy rain...the slope towards the foundation dosnt help either..some definte gradeing needed there
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:42 PM   #5
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


If it were my house I'd dig it up, at least get some foundation coating on the wall along the neighbors side.

Probably dig a dry well type of out fall, and drain tile that wall. Rain drainage as you described.

Keep the french drain and gutter drain lines separated.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:44 PM   #6
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


Hi,

What kind of foundation is it? Poured Concrete, Block ?

You describe 2 specific leak areas. Are they visible? Are they specific points?

How much water does he take on at it's worst?

Can you explain what you are showing in the pic with mud?
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:57 PM   #7
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


I think if you fill to the bottom of those windows your problem should be solved but think sealing it and puttin tile in is best for no worries
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:21 PM   #8
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


CanCritter,

Agreed, I will def increase grading away from building as a part of whatever else I do.

tgeb,

When you say this "dig a dry well type of out fall" do you mean dig a well (I assume filled with rock) set below the level of drain tile set in the front yard for the drain tile to empty into. And I assume by "drain tile" you mean at the footing, while it is dug up to coat? Or something else? Agreed, if it were my house, i also would just dig the wall and go the whole nine.

When you say "Keep the french drain and gutter drain lines separated" i assume you mean don't route the gutter drain into the french drain, do you see any prob with running it above the french drain in same trench?

denick,

It is a block foundation.

Both the previous leaks and the current are what I think you mean by point leak, It's not a seepage of moisture over an area. As I noted above the old leak was about 4' above slab and the current leak is about 2' above slab, so both visible. It was the position and type of leak that led me to think it was more a surface rather than groundwater problem and hence the french/gutter drain solution.

He had healthy water trails on the floor from the old patched leaks and I assume the same from the current, though there was a raised base that had a drum set on it so I couldn't verify. My best guess is a running trail maybe several inches wide.

Reading through all the drainage threads a question that often came up was soil type, so I included a sample.

Thanks all for the feedback.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:43 PM   #9
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


Are there actual cracks that the water comes through?

Is there dampness evident along the wall? how far away from the leak?

There is a picture showing what looks like erosion silt on the surface. If that's what it is where is that silt coming from? neighbors yard?

Can you dig down by hand and inspect what the exterior of the foundation is coated with in the area of the leaks?
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:47 PM   #10
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


CanDo,

Yeah that is what I have been trying to settle in my mind, what level of fix solves things.

The easiest, grading and downspouts, with the lay of his and his neighbors property I just wasn't sure would be sufficient.

Adding the french drain seemed like the mid fix, that made me feel more confidant . Till I started reading a bunch of threads here on ct. And that is what led to the post. I would have to do a little salesmanship for a french drain and a *lot* for a footer drain and wall sealing. I would rather do as little salesmanship (and work as this is a "friend & favor price" job) and fix as required, just trying to make sure it is enough to actually fix the problem.

When you say "drain tile" do you mean a "french drain" or a "footer drain"?

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:04 PM   #11
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


Quote:
Originally Posted by denick View Post
Are there actual cracks that the water comes through?
On the old leaks they were pretty well covered with epoxy but from the epoxy spread it looked as though it could have been a crack. The new leak seems like a hole/crack.

Quote:
Is there dampness evident along the wall? how far away from the leak?
On the current leak there is a fan shape water trail from the leak point to the floor but it seemed localized, not general wetness or seepage.

Quote:
There is a picture showing what looks like erosion silt on the surface. If that's what it is where is that silt coming from? neighbors yard?
The fifth pic ( or fourth after the drawing) showing the two gates is I believe a confluence of run off from the neighbors yard (he has his fence line dug out and down and that I think is making a bit of a water channel along his fence line and dumps where their shared corner post is) and the ho's yard.

Quote:
Can you dig down by hand and inspect what the exterior of the foundation is coated with in the area of the leaks?
Yes I could and and I will try and get interior picks when I do, he just wasn't home last time I went or I would of.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:28 PM   #12
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


Is it possible the blocks were filled solid?

The only water problems, leak / moisture in this basement are in this one area?

When you look at problems with a block foundation, unless it is made from solid block or the hollow core block are filled solid, you have to think about where the water is coming from. If you visualize a hollow core wall and you poke a hole in it 7 feet up on one side then stick a hose in it the water going in 99 % of the time does not come out where the hole is on the other side. The cavities fill up from the lowest point and the water finds the easiest way out. Almost never exactly across from the entry point. Almost always at a point lower than the entry point. Many times a considerable distance horizontally away from the entry point.

That's why digging outside where the leaks are (which seems like you only have to dig 2' or so) would help.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:25 PM   #13
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


All good info, I'll snap pics and do some exploratory digging and post results.

Thanks for the input.

Clif
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:45 PM   #14
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


Quote:
Originally Posted by moorewarner View Post
CanDo,

Yeah that is what I have been trying to settle in my mind, what level of fix solves things.

The easiest, grading and downspouts, with the lay of his and his neighbors property I just wasn't sure would be sufficient.

Adding the french drain seemed like the mid fix, that made me feel more confidant . Till I started reading a bunch of threads here on ct. And that is what led to the post. I would have to do a little salesmanship for a french drain and a *lot* for a footer drain and wall sealing. I would rather do as little salesmanship (and work as this is a "friend & favor price" job) and fix as required, just trying to make sure it is enough to actually fix the problem.

When you say "drain tile" do you mean a "french drain" or a "footer drain"?

Thanks for the reply.
here in SD we drain tile the footings on the inside all the time but most GCs will also tile the outside too which is what I like to see with about 2' of rock on top of the drain tile then backfill

good luck!!!
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:53 PM   #15
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


Quote:
Originally Posted by CanDoExcavating View Post
here in SD we drain tile the footings on the inside all the time but most GCs will also tile the outside too which is what I like to see with about 2' of rock on top of the drain tile then backfill

good luck!!!
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:04 AM   #16
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


on your map in relation to the neighbor's house, where is the moist area of the basement located?

where does the neighbor's gutter dump too?

Install a 6-8" drain pipe and feed your friends gutters AND the neighbor's gutters to the front of the property-that 'should' fix your problems.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:55 AM   #17
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


Quote:
on your map in relation to the neighbor's house, where is the moist area of the basement located?
on the second map, the ellipses inside the house, the ellipse in the corner of the building is the current leak and the ellipse mid way down the wall is the old leak.

Quote:
where does the neighbor's gutter dump too?
The neighbors gutters are routed into the the ground, storm pipes most likely, condition unknown, but not draining to surface.


Quote:
Install a 6-8" drain pipe and feed your friends gutters AND the neighbor's gutters to the front of the property-that 'should' fix your problems.
That suggestion, minus the neighbors gutters was half of what I initially thought would take care of the problem. I am worried that with the lay of the two properties he is still going to get a fair bit of water ending up against his wall. That was the rational for the french drain, so do you think the french drain is unnecessary?

I will be getting picks of the interior wall this weekend, will add to thread.

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Old 03-19-2010, 04:50 PM   #18
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


Quote:
Originally Posted by moorewarner View Post
so do you think the french drain is unnecessary?
I have found that if you truly want to solve water problems observe the problem at the hight of a prolonged rain event. You're taking educated guesses at this point, but I would bet on getting the water from the gutters safely away (consider that you may have up to 1500sqft of roof funneling down into those downspouts).
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:27 PM   #19
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


If you're going to put in a footing drain you might as well seal the block on the outside and put at least 4" of foam over the foundation below grade. Run the gutters in to their own drain and get it all away from the house.
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:27 PM   #20
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Re: Wet Basement French Drain Vs. Footer Drain


I almost always let the customer decide. I tell them flat out that the French drain MAY solve their problem, but the full dig and footing drain is GUARENTEED to solve the problem. Usually a french drain runs about 20% the cost of the full footing drain / waterproofing fix. I offer no basement leak warranty with the french drain, a full warranty with the footing drain / waterproofing fix.

I can dig, waterproof and back fill with clear stone to within 1ft of grade fir $85 a linear foot and make good money. I can put in a French drain for about $25 a linear foot an make good money. Both prices include grass repair with topsoil, seed and straw mulch.

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