A French drain, also known as a weeping tile, is an old method of water diversion typically used on the exterior perimeter of a foundation or in the yard. A trench with drain pipe that is surrounded by gravel or rock is used. The system allows surface water to move easily into the drain and be redirected to a point where the drain is set up to move the water.
Homeowners suffering from basement and foundation water problems who have tried the French drain waterproofing systems of years gone by are usually disappointed. They may often work at first, but it’s all too common to have them clog with dirt and fail. When the rains come, wet basements are all too common - keeping waterproofers in Baltimore, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Hyattsville, and Rockville busy.
French Drain Installation
French drain installation involves setting up the drain alongside a home’s foundation during construction. Maybe a fabric filter is installed over the pipe. It’s cheap and easy for the builder. The loose soil is returned, and it will keep the home dry for a few years. Eventually, the traditional French drain clogs and the homeowner must deal with a damp, wet basement and maybe even mildew, mold and structural foundation problems.
The French drain waterproofing system may go several years keeping the basement dry, but eventually it stops working. Naturally occurring dirt and sediment work their way into the waterproofing system, causing clogs. Once clogged, expensive and destructive heavy construction equipment is needed.
Replacing a French drain system requires digging around the outside of the home, and tearing up decorative shrubs and plantings. Crews must dig down to the bottom of the basement and remove the old pipe, replace it with new French drain pipe, and refill the area with dirt scattered across your lawn. As the years pass, the homeowner must remember to continually regrade the lawn. Today, we have much more proven methods to keep a basement dry!