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Foundation Repair and French Drains


After the cold weather has passed, you may notice some unpleasant changes in your basement. Damp spots on the walls or cracks appearing in the mortar joints of your cinder blocks are some common signs that water is making its way into your foundation and sometimes freezing during the winter.

Signs of moisture aren’t always a large problem. Much of the time it results from poor ventilation and small openings in window wells or doors and this becomes an easy fix.

It does not become a chronic issue until water begins showing in the walls or floor of the foundation. Bowing walls, wall cracks, floor cracks, mold and similar signs of moisture require major structural repairs.

Why is Water Coming Through My Basement Walls?

When your home was built, depending on the its age, a layer of exterior basement waterproofing should have been applied to protect it. This is usually some type of asphalt coat or plastic membrane. In time these materials break down and allow moisture in the ground to make contact with the foundation. Water soaks into the porous cinder blocks and this becomes especially problematic in the winter as it freezes.

But where is it coming from?

Surface water typically enters the crawl space through roof drainage, overflowing gutters, grading issues and leaky basement windows or window wells.

Groundwater can enter the crawl space several ways. The soil around the foundation can become saturated after periods of heavy rain or snow. Water from the surrounding soil pushes against the walls of the foundation, eventually finding its way in.

Plumbing issues such as a plumbing leak or a burst pipe can introduce water into the crawl space. This comes in the form of both slow leaks and heavy flooding.

Options to Maintain and Repair the Foundation

When you have moisture problems, there are a few effective ways to deal with them. You can excavate around the exterior of the foundation and apply a moisture barrier to keep water from entering in the first place. However, this is a large and expensive project that isn’t viable for every homeowner.

Another option involves the application of rubberized sealing products to the interior walls of the foundation. However, this is not a temporary fix and usually won’t last more than a decade before water starts to enter again.

One of the more common options are French Drains. Weeping holes are drilled to properly direct and drain water out of the basement via the sump-pump. This project can be done inside in a short amount of time, but leaves you with efficient, long-lasting results. 

Here’s how it’s done:

  • A 12-inch wide section of the concrete floor around the perimeter of the basement is removed.
  • A 12 to 18-inch trench is dug in this removed section to provide room for the drainage system.
  • Drainage holes or weeping holes are drilled into the foundation walls below floor level.
  • A layer of gravel is spread over the exposed ground to provide some separation between the pipe and dirt.
  • A 3 to 4-inch perforated drainage pipe is placed in the trench, on top of the gravel and around the foundation .
  • More gravel is then placed on top of the pipe to separate it from the dirt and concrete above it.
  • A layer of concrete is reapplied over this to restore the floor and seal the system in the ground.

French Drains will collect all of the water that comes out of the weeping holes and direct it towards your sump-pump, assuring a dry and healthy basement for years to come.

Contact Us

If you are experiencing any of these signs or think that moisture is entering your home, please to do not hesitate. Give us a call today at 610-495-9111 for a FREE INSPECTION. For more detailed information on services, please visit www.basements911.com today.