Today the term French drain is used as an all-encompassing term for underground drains. The problem with this is that a French drain has a very specific purpose. The French drain is a perforated pipe set in stone, typically used for collecting and diverting shallow underground water, excessive surface water, and drying up low slope areas.
This type of drain system works well in fields, yards, and for land slip mitigation. When you have a basement or crawl space leak, a foundation drain is what needs installed.
Foundation drains are drains designed to collect residual underground water that migrates and collects around the foundation of your home. They are not designed to handle surface, or excessive water. By adding excessive water to a foundation drain, you run the risk of flooding your basement. Therefore, downspouts and other surface drains should never be run into a foundation drain system.
For the health of your foundation, and the drain system, yards should be sloped correctly, and all other surface water should be directed away from the foundation. Sidewalks, patios, and landscaping needs to be sloped correctly. Controlling all of the surface water at the surface is the way to keep a foundation drain healthy and make it last as long as the home.
Knowing the difference between a French drain and a foundation drain is key to solving your basement or crawl space leak. There are times where a French drain is used in combination with a foundation drain, but they are two separate systems.
This is a question best answered after a full evaluation of your property. We have seen French drains work to eliminate basement leaks caused by low lying or excess surface water areas. We have also torn out new French drains installed by other contractors to install a foundation drain that solves the problem.
If you would like any other information or assistance in determining which type of drain system is right for you, give us a call today to set up a free consultation. Contact Kelly Lang Contractors