Basement Foundation Drainage

If your foundation stands in the way of the natural path of water, it's going to build up against the foundation. As the soil around the house settles, the backfill soil begins to dip lower than the virgin soil. Water will then find the lowest point and that will be your basement.

Exterior footing drains are designed to handle this water. However, drains can easily become clogged which causes the backfill to become saturated. This added weight creates an enormous amount of force on the walls. Properly designed and constructed footing and foundation walls are often strong enough to hold up for many years. However, the combined pressures of gravity, soil swelling with water, freezing and thawing, hydrostatic pressure, and tree roots, among other forces, are all working together to break through. Sooner or later, a crack will form, a seal will break, or something else will give way.

How do I get rid of all this water?

When you have a footing drain installed, it generally drains to either a storm sewer, sump pump, or to the surface.

Storm Sewers

  • Rarely installed deep enough in the ground to make the drain leading to them tilt downwards.
  • Amount of water that a storm sewer can store is limited by its size.

Footing Drain

  • Footing drain that discharges to the surface where the drain does not have to run uphill
  • To work the ground must drop off around home more than 8-9 feet

Sump Pump

  • Actively pumps the water out of house.
  • Reduces the need for a natural downhill incline
  • Cannot help if the footing drain is clogged

Downspout & Drain Tile

  • Drains water away from your house
  • Often clogged or damaged by roots or shifting ground