When Property Managers think about basement waterproofing, most imagine creating a waterproof barrier using sealants and waterproofing paint. While this DIY project might help protect your investment for a little while, it is not a long-term basement waterproofing solution because sealants do not address the root cause of the problem: excess water in the soil outside the home’s foundation walls.
French drain basement waterproofing prevents water from building up in the soil. If there is not excess water in the ground, there will not be water in the basement. However, French drain waterproofing is not to be confused with the trench drain, which is in fact ineffective when it comes to basement waterproofing. Other names for French drain basement waterproofing include drain tile, weeping tile, perimeter drain, footing drain, and foundation drain.
There are two types of French drain basement waterproofing: interior and exterior. We will discuss each type, as well as the cost of French drain basement waterproofing and additional ways you as a Property Manager can keep the soil dry around your property foundations.
What is French drain basement waterproofing?
French drain basement waterproofing involves the use of a perforated pipe to collect excess water in the soil and then release it away from the foundation via gravity or a sump pump.
French drain basement waterproofing is a highly effective waterproofing solution that works by preventing water from building up in the soil under and around your property’s foundation. The basement stays dry not because water is being held back (which is what most trench drains—the ones with the metal grate—attempt to do), but because water is no longer there. The water has been channeled away from the foundation via the French drain.
19th-century American Inventor Henry French invented the French drain, and today just about every new home is built with an exterior version. In many municipalities, it is even required for all new homes.
French drain basement waterproofing works because it relieves hydrostatic pressure
French drain basement waterproofing prevents hydrostatic pressure from building up by collecting and channeling excess moisture in the soil away from the foundation.
Because basements are below grade, or underground, they are susceptible to water intrusion. If a foundation lacks good drainage around it, hydrostatic pressure will build up in the soil and press against the foundation walls. The force of the hydrostatic pressure can cause foundation walls to bow inward and sometimes crack. Eventually, water will get into the basement via these cracks in the foundation if the walls receive no relief.
Most new construction in the US has French drain basement waterproofing already installed. However, French drain basement waterproofing can be added to existing homes as well.