Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good invest

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Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good invest

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:51 am

Would a French Drain be a good investment in a house you may want to sell in 8-10 years? They are very costly, but maybe more people would be attracted to a waterproof basement. I didn't get a price or anything yet...just trying to get general opinions on this.

I bought my house about two years ago and I a big part of me wants to stay there forever, but I am just wondering what if ya know?
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Aptenodytes » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:38 am

Homebuyers are weird with things like this. You bought the house without the French drains -- someone else probably will too. The real estate market is too quirky to put a reasonable resale price on the drains.

If you can't justify the expense based on 8 years of your own use, then don't do it -- that's how I'd approach it.

My basement would flood about 10-15 times per year without French drains, making it almost completely unusable. If they hadn't been there when I bought the house I would have definitely put them in. How often / how deep does your basement flood? What would you use it for if it stayed dry? Does it have a good layout and high enough ceilings to be considered decent living space if it were dry year-round?
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby SteveNet » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:49 am

It's always better not to have a water problem no matter how you fix it.
That said it is almost always better to divert the water 'before' it gets into the basement via outside excavation and drainage by a reputable company that will do a good job.
And that will cost some big bucks as well.

Interior French drains are mostly for a situation where it is impractical to do it from the outside, too close to another home or structure.
In any case something should be done to remove the hydrostatic pressure from the water in the soil from the basement walls and or even the floor (as water pressure can buckle even the floor).
The water can also wash out the soil from under the footings (very expensive) think collapse.

If the basement is in the unfortunate situation of a very high water table (in which case a basement should never have been built there) then outside drainage will be of little use unless there is a lower area for the water to drain too. The water has to drain away too somewhere.

A interior french drain will relieve the hydrostatic pressure by letting in the water thru the walls only to be captured by the drain and then somehow removed via gravity drain or sump pump.

All in all, If I was going to stay in the home I would do something to solve the problem. In the long run it will cost you a LOT more if you just ignore it.

Of course a lot depends on IF you have a water problem...which you didn't mention.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby reggiesimpson » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:36 pm

Ditto SteveNet. I had water problems in my basement but the adviced i received was to find out why the water was going in in the first place. It was simply a matter of extensions on the gutter downspouts, deflecting serious roof runoff and raising the dirt grade around two sides of my house. None of this work is as onerous as it seems. I am 65 and did all the work myself. Good luck.
I should add. I used 4 inch french hose in my gutters and i havent needed to clean them since. Simple and very cheap home project.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby patriciamgr2 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:46 pm

I also agree strongly with SteveNet and Reggiesimpson. At the very least, you want to understand why water is coming into the basement &, if at all possible, how to keep in outside. Buyers today are very concerned about mold from any sort of water incursion. The possibility of foundation issues would also concern me. II would not analyze this in terms of whether a buyer will reimburse me for the cost (ie the way I'd look at any cosmetic improvement). It's more about protecting my investment from really expensive repairs in the future.

good luck
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If you do it: radon

Postby davebarnes » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:03 pm

If you install the drainage system, then make sure that it is setup so that radon mitigation can be added at the lowest cost.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby dratkinson » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:34 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:...I used 4 inch french hose in my gutters and i havent needed to clean them since. Simple and very cheap home project. ...


Could you come over to below topic and tell us more about the french hose you use to keep your gutters clean?
Do you live in a climate prone to ice dams? Have you noticed ice dams with this idea?
Do you have many trees around your house?
Was keeping your gutters clean a big problem before?
How long has the french hose been in place? Is there any debris buildup under it?
(added) Have you seen icicles hanging from the gutters in the winter?
(added) Have you seen water flooding over the gutters during a heavy rain?


Extension ladder (to clean gutters):
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=112315
Last edited by dratkinson on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby bluemarlin08 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:43 pm

I had a similar problem, ended up regrading part of my yard and redirecting water away from the house. Spent 3000 and problem solved.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby reggiesimpson » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:46 pm

dratkinson wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:...I used 4 inch french hose in my gutters and i havent needed to clean them since. Simple and very cheap home project. ...


Could you come over to below topic and tell us more about the french hose you use to keep your gutters clean?
Do you live in a climate prone to ice dams? Have you noticed ice dams with this idea?
Do you have many trees around your house?
Was keeping your gutters clean a big problem before?
How long has the french hose been in place? Is there any debris buildup under it?
(added) Have you seen icicles hanging from the gutters in the winter?
(added) Have you seen water flooding over the gutters during a heavy rain?


Extension ladder (to clean gutters):
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=112315

Yes, i will answer on the new OP
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby likegarden » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:36 pm

Here is another suggestion, does not seem to cost too much. The water table around my house is high after hard rains. We have the ground graded properly and downspouts go into underground pipes which lead water far away. My house has a 'floating' basement floor, that is the corners between floor and walls are cut into the ground, there is a space. During very wet weather water runs there to two corners of the basement which have sump pumps, one with a battery driven sump pump as backup. It works fine, I live here since 1987. We also have a fully charged battery as backup for the backup.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby plantlady63 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:15 pm

Something to think about if you do decide to sell. In many states you have to disclose the fact that you have any water leakage into your home. You may want to check in your area to see if you are required to disclose it.

I would agree that it is better to start small - start outside first and check grading, gutters, etc to see if any improvement needs to be made there first and then start checking the inside of the home to narrow down the cause of the leak and go from there...

Good Luck! :happy
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:27 am

I do have a water problem. When I had my home inspected I was told of a "small leak"...BS.

Anyways, my dad and I tried lots of things. It turns out (after talking to a few people in the area) that the land around there was kinda swampy before houses were built. Where the water is coming in is on the side of my driveway/sidewalk area (all concrete and it leans away from the house but still comes in ONLY with a heavy rain).

Someone told me that when a heavy rain occurs, the water goes down until it starts to build back up and my basement wall is built with cinder blocks that were not filled in.

I think the french drain is the way to go especially if I stay in that house. I do think if I spend another 7-10 years in that house that it may be worth it too. Id like to finish the basement and I won't do anything to it before water proofing it.

I do have a nice set up down there now, just no carpet and where it leaks (every month or 2) the water doesn't hit anything.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby SteveNet » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:15 pm

Fieldsy1024 wrote:I do have a water problem. When I had my home inspected I was told of a "small leak"...BS.

Anyways, my dad and I tried lots of things. It turns out (after talking to a few people in the area) that the land around there was kinda swampy before houses were built. Where the water is coming in is on the side of my driveway/sidewalk area (all concrete and it leans away from the house but still comes in ONLY with a heavy rain).

Someone told me that when a heavy rain occurs, the water goes down until it starts to build back up and my basement wall is built with cinder blocks that were not filled in.

I think the french drain is the way to go especially if I stay in that house. I do think if I spend another 7-10 years in that house that it may be worth it too. Id like to finish the basement and I won't do anything to it before water proofing it.

I do have a nice set up down there now, just no carpet and where it leaks (every month or 2) the water doesn't hit anything.


I am familiar with homes built in areas like that, (Swampy originally).
IF there is a lower area of ground on the property that is as low or lower than the footing, then exterior excavation with appropriate drainage to the lower area is the best solution.
An interior drain system can also be used in the same way of course but then that doesn't alleviate the 'wetness/dampness' around the foundation and in the basement.
IF there are no lower places to drain too... then even an interior drain will do little as pumping out the water would be and endless cycle as it will simply drain back into the soil and come back in.
But the interior drain will help reduce the hydrostatic pressure on the foundation/basement walls.

When you say the cinder blocks were not filled in...do you mean the mortar joints or the holes within the blocks themselves?
I have seen foundations built (crawlspaces) where the mortar joints are not all filled in to allow for release of hydrostatic pressure.
But generally the reason to use hollow block is so that the weight is not to great for the footing/soil.
Solid block would not stop leaks anyway, water will find a way in thru the joints/cracks.

Also IF there is a lower area in the yard to drain too, seeings you believe the water is coming in from one problem area/side of the home.
You could have a drainage ditch dug on 'That' side as low as the area to drain to is, and then drain to the low area of the property, you could also have the gutters tied into it on that side as well.
That ditch does NOT have to be right next to the foundation, even 10 ft away (if it's deep enough) will allow for drainage from both sides of the ditch and help with water coming into the basement and relieve hydrostatic pressure.

There is also a way to have an exterior drainage ditch with a sump pump built in at the bottom to drain to another area, it involves having a wide tube of sorts with a cover that goes from the bottom of the ditch to grade level (for inspection, replacing submersible pump, electric, and discharge hose). This is good for areas where you can't dig a ditch to a lower part of the yard, but you can have a discharge hose routed to a low spot, gutter, street sewer.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:26 am

There is a drain in the middle of my basement where the flooring is (very slightly) slated toward....so I am assuming there is a lower area of ground.

The problem with the side with the leak is that its near a neighbors out. That whole side goes (in order), side of house, sidewalk/deck, driveway (apx 6-7 feet long), even grassy ground (25 feet from neighbor but I only own about 3-4 feet of this).

I forget exactly what my neighbor said about the cinder block. I think he just said that the holes on the cinder were not filled in.

This problem area is on the side of my house. The backyard is on a hill (slight hill going away from house).

I hope this information helps you a bit better and I thank you for trying to help me!
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby SteveNet » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:57 am

Fieldsy1024 wrote:There is a drain in the middle of my basement where the flooring is (very slightly) slated toward....so I am assuming there is a lower area of ground.

The problem with the side with the leak is that its near a neighbors out. That whole side goes (in order), side of house, sidewalk/deck, driveway (apx 6-7 feet long), even grassy ground (25 feet from neighbor but I only own about 3-4 feet of this).

I forget exactly what my neighbor said about the cinder block. I think he just said that the holes on the cinder were not filled in.

This problem area is on the side of my house. The backyard is on a hill (slight hill going away from house).

I hope this information helps you a bit better and I thank you for trying to help me!


Never assume anything, I have seen first hand (after it was dug up), drainage tile put around a home that had NO way out, it was just laid there to satisfy some lazy inspector and then filled in.
Water problems led to the discovery. That floor drain isn't really meant for getting rid of flood water, it's for washing down the floor, or for spills, leaking hot water heater, etc.

Holes are never filled in 99.999% of the time in cinder block, they aren't supposed to be for weight.
It wouldn't stop the water anyway.

"The problem with the side with the leak is that its near a neighbors out." Was that a typo or does than mean a drain from gutters or something?
If it's some sort of drain then all of his drain water runs to your foundation, it needs to be diverted.

Ok, I think we have found the problem, so on the problem side of your home there is a hill (slope) going up, so all the water from that slope runs down towards the 'problem' side of the foundation.
you say you own a strip of land 3-4 ft wide,
How far from your home is this strip of land and how long does it run for ( the length of your home?)

EDIT... Also approximately how far down is your basement floor level from the ground level of that 3-4' strip of land.
Also when your basement gets water into it does it ever come up out of that drain in the floor?

EDIT, here is a pic of something that can be done in that strip of land, it has to have an outlet for the collected water, or a Pit access point with a submersible sump pump, I would also include piping to the above ground level with a drain cap to catch above ground water in the lower area above the drainage line.

Image

Also this site for an informative curtain drain method.
http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021189052.pdf
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:23 pm

The slope isn't running toward the house...where the problem area is, it is slightly running away from the house.
Neighbors out = Neighbors house

Our basement is about 8 feet from ground level, and the main area, water comes from the very bottom. With very very bad storms, it will come from the top of the walls, and will come in 3/4 walls of my house (nothing too serious except for the main problematic wall)

That patch of land is about 10-12 feet from my house I would say.

Water never comes up from the drain.

About the picture, do you think that solution is doable even though is may be 10-12 feet from my house? Also that strip of grassy area does go the entire length of house.

thanks again.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby SteveNet » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:43 am

Fieldsy1024 wrote:The slope isn't running toward the house...where the problem area is, it is slightly running away from the house.
Neighbors out = Neighbors house

Our basement is about 8 feet from ground level, and the main area, water comes from the very bottom. With very very bad storms, it will come from the top of the walls, and will come in 3/4 walls of my house (nothing too serious except for the main problematic wall)

That patch of land is about 10-12 feet from my house I would say.

Water never comes up from the drain.

About the picture, do you think that solution is doable even though is may be 10-12 feet from my house? Also that strip of grassy area does go the entire length of house.

thanks again.


Strange that the slope is away from your home yet that is the side you are having trouble with.
When a heavy rain storm comes and you get leakage into the basement, what does the outside look like on that side of the home?
Lots of standing water?
Streams of water running along the foundation?
Are your Downspouts from your gutters of your neighbors gutters dumping water on that side?
Just a slight 1/4" deep of water on the surface running along the ground is a tremendous amount of water over all, make sure it is running away from the home.
Gutters should empty water at LEAST 6' away from the foundation, further is better.

The fact that you have water coming in at the top of the wall disturbs me, especially if the cinder block is hollow it should run down in the block to the bottom.
Unless the wall is filling up!!!
Any large cracks in the cinder block wall on that side? The hydrostatic pressure must be tremendous especially if the wall is underground by 8' and water is coming in at the top and bottom.

Unless you can find where the water is coming from outside and divert it, I suggest you get a GOOD contractor who deals with this sort of problem to inspect and get appraisals as to what to do.

And a drainage ditch 10' away and 8' deep from the foundation (as long as it has an outlet) can greatly reduce the amount of ground water against the foundation on that side of the home, especially if it is only one side suggesting it's not a matter of high water table (as then all sides would be affected).

Get appraisals for work to be done by 5 or 6 companies they are usually free and you can learn from them exactly what the problem is.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:37 pm

It sucks that my home inspector just pointed out a "small leak" and the old owners screwed me. I'm going to get lots of estimates and I'm sure it will be in the 5k-10k range.

thanks for trying to help me!
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby SteveNet » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:22 pm

Fieldsy1024 wrote:It sucks that my home inspector just pointed out a "small leak" and the old owners screwed me. I'm going to get lots of estimates and I'm sure it will be in the 5k-10k range.

thanks for trying to help me!


Hey no problem :sharebeer

After you get a bunch of estimates (Written estimates) detailing everything they say they will do, post them here and we can review what looks like snake oil and what looks like a good permanent fix.

Money well spent now will save many thousands later if the wall/footing collapses.

Btw, home inspectors are generally snake oil, they are liable for nothing, usually know nothing, and just take your money for nothing.
There are a few good exceptions, somewhere over the rainbow.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:06 am

Yeah I got bent over on this basement and I needed a new roof which the inspector didn't tell me. It pisses me off very much, but I just have to take it as a learning experience and move on.

I got one guy coming out on Thursday to check the basement.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:30 pm

had 3 guys in and found a winner. First of all I was wrong about the cinder. My walls are poured concrete.

I got the Thompson Waterproofing company to come down low on a deal.

First let me ask you how much is a good deal for this...

151 ft of area, 2 sump pumps, HD PVC pipe 4"
2 yr warranty on each (I know this is sorta low)
repair 4 cracks
mold spray entire basement
two days to finish
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby SteveNet » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:24 pm

Fieldsy1024 wrote:had 3 guys in and found a winner. First of all I was wrong about the cinder. My walls are poured concrete.

I got the Thompson Waterproofing company to come down low on a deal.

First let me ask you how much is a good deal for this...

151 ft of area, 2 sump pumps, HD PVC pipe 4"
2 yr warranty on each (I know this is sorta low)
repair 4 cracks
mold spray entire basement
two days to finish


Are they waterproofing the inside of the basement or the outside?
Are they digging up the ground on the outside of the problem wall?
Are the sump pumps inside or outside of the basement?
Is the 151 sq ft of basement is the basement wall sq footage or linear footage (total length of walls).

If this is all on the inside of the basement, I would look for someone to fix the problem 'before' it gets to the basement, which means from the outside.

EDIT...Here is a link to a generic website that shows the two methods inside and outside. Which one are you getting the estimate on?

http://www.basementfix.com/basement_waterproofing.html
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:26 am

SteveNet wrote:
Fieldsy1024 wrote:had 3 guys in and found a winner. First of all I was wrong about the cinder. My walls are poured concrete.

I got the Thompson Waterproofing company to come down low on a deal.

First let me ask you how much is a good deal for this...

151 ft of area, 2 sump pumps, HD PVC pipe 4"
2 yr warranty on each (I know this is sorta low)
repair 4 cracks
mold spray entire basement
two days to finish


Are they waterproofing the inside of the basement or the outside?
Are they digging up the ground on the outside of the problem wall?
Are the sump pumps inside or outside of the basement?
Is the 151 sq ft of basement is the basement wall sq footage or linear footage (total length of walls).

If this is all on the inside of the basement, I would look for someone to fix the problem 'before' it gets to the basement, which means from the outside.

EDIT...Here is a link to a generic website that shows the two methods inside and outside. Which one are you getting the estimate on?

http://www.basementfix.com/basement_waterproofing.html


Inside
No digging on outside
Inside for sump pumps and both will be underground with just the drainage pipe sticking out
151 is the total length of the walls
I live in a Suburb right out of Philly, Pa
What price would you say is great/average/rip off?
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby SteveNet » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:14 am

Fieldsy1024 wrote:
SteveNet wrote:
Fieldsy1024 wrote:had 3 guys in and found a winner. First of all I was wrong about the cinder. My walls are poured concrete.

I got the Thompson Waterproofing company to come down low on a deal.

First let me ask you how much is a good deal for this...

151 ft of area, 2 sump pumps, HD PVC pipe 4"
2 yr warranty on each (I know this is sorta low)
repair 4 cracks
mold spray entire basement
two days to finish


Are they waterproofing the inside of the basement or the outside?
Are they digging up the ground on the outside of the problem wall?
Are the sump pumps inside or outside of the basement?
Is the 151 sq ft of basement is the basement wall sq footage or linear footage (total length of walls).

If this is all on the inside of the basement, I would look for someone to fix the problem 'before' it gets to the basement, which means from the outside.

EDIT...Here is a link to a generic website that shows the two methods inside and outside. Which one are you getting the estimate on?

http://www.basementfix.com/basement_waterproofing.html


Inside
No digging on outside
Inside for sump pumps and both will be underground with just the drainage pipe sticking out
151 is the total length of the walls
I live in a Suburb right out of Philly, Pa
What price would you say is great/average/rip off?


Ok now that I know what system they are doing, lets talk about that.
It would seem this is the type system they are quoting...
Image

If you ever decide to sell your home, nothing screams "This house has water problems" more than seeing two sump pump cisterns in the inside of the basement no matter how nice they may look.
So a value should be deducted from the selling price of your home, if that ever happens.
This method of keeping a basement dry can and most likely will work to an extent.
Problems with this type of system...
As the picture shows the water exits via sump pump right outside of the basement, letting it soak right back into the soil and back into the sump pumps again over and over somewhat.
It does very little to stop the hydrostatic pressure on the walls as you said they are about 8 ft below grade.
IF the small holes they drill thru your bottom walls Don't plug up (eventually) they will drain some water from the bottom of the wall, ONLY.
Most of the hydrostatic pressure will be in the center of the wall aprox 4 ft from the floor.
Unless you have these sump pumps on a battery or generator backup, they will not work if the power goes out during a bad storm (usually when you get lots of rain).
Needless to say I don't like this system, it's designed to be cheaper, and a quick fix, but will cost more over time, think resale of home.

I will have a look at contractors in your area in a bit and see who you should get estimates from for a good system. Like this.
Image
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby SteveNet » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:02 pm

Sorry for the double post.

I have looked into the contractors in your area and it would seem that almost all install the interior systems.
Obviously I don't care for that approach.
But...
As it's the most popular in that area, the resale value of your home most likely wouldn't be affected too much as it seems to me a normal thing for homes to have there.
And with exterior systems you have to have a lower area to drain too, if you don't then they don't work.

That said I have read reviews of that company and of course it varies from great to terrible.
It would also seem that they subcontract out the work, (not their own contractors) so it's harder to have quality control.

I would suggest getting estimates from a few companies that actually deal with major foundation restoration, as they are more knowledgeable as to the correct way and good products to use.
Typical companies are those who install helical piers for foundation settlement. Think major repair type stuff.

http://www.philadelphiabasementsystems.com/basement-waterproofing.html

I have had helical piers installed myself because of settling, and have had exterior waterproofing done as well, it's not cheap by any means, but it is your home after all.

EDIT... Costs for an interior french drain system 150' 2 sump pumps aroung 7-8 thousand, give or take for type of system labor intensive, cutting concrete or on top of floor. Low as 4,000 high as 10,000.
Exterior aprox double that cost perhaps 15k depending on landscape, depth, stuff in the way etc.
Last edited by SteveNet on Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:53 pm

I was told they do not subcontract their work...how did you find that out?
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby SteveNet » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:59 pm

Fieldsy1024 wrote:I was told they do not subcontract their work...how did you find that out?


By reading reviews of people that contracted them.
Some spoke of the workers saying they get paid only after the job was finished, company workers get paid weekly not by the job.
But thats is what customer reviews said, take it with a grain of salt.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:10 pm

Yes I did read that one review.

On Home Advisor out of 83 reviews it was almost a 5 star rating which I think is pretty good.

Anyways...the guys original offer was 9700 dollars. I told him no and the other 2 guys were around 7. He then offered 6500. I said the job is yours for 6000. Thats when he did a "dance" and called his "boss" to approve it. We got the job for 6,000.

He said their was a certain amount of feet I can have the pump from the electrical box. He said 5 feet for the drainage pipe. Another guy said 15 feet for the actual pump...
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby BillyG » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:24 pm

What about backup pumps for when the power goes out? (Another reason the exterior drainage option is superior.) For some reason the storms that knock out power tend to produce the most rain...

How is power reliability in your area?

Backup pumps can be battery backup or water powered backup.

I installed water-powered backup sump pumps but I've had battery backup pumps that worked well.

Billy

PS It's easy to be critical from afar but do you really trust a guy who dropped his price from $9700 to $6000? It doesn't sound like he was being honest with his opening $9700 price... and what makes you think he is being honest now?
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:39 pm

The sad truth is you cannot trust a single company trying to do business with you. The have a great rating on BBB, Angies List, and Home Advisor which makes me feel a little better.

I always feel iffy on whoever it is I hire for a big job.

All 3 quoted around the same for an outdoor system (22k-25k)
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby SteveNet » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:43 pm

BillyG wrote:What about backup pumps for when the power goes out? (Another reason the exterior drainage option is superior.) For some reason the storms that knock out power tend to produce the most rain...

How is power reliability in your area?

Backup pumps can be battery backup or water powered backup.

I installed water-powered backup sump pumps but I've had battery backup pumps that worked well.

Billy

PS It's easy to be critical from afar but do you really trust a guy who dropped his price from $9700 to $6000? It doesn't sound like he was being honest with his opening $9700 price... and what makes you think he is being honest now?


My thoughts exactly huge drop in price, just how reliable would the work or company be that does that?
Water powered backup pump? Something I had never considered.
Very interesting, looks good too, just in case. After all even batteries discharge with use. :sharebeer
Being frugal is hard to learn, but once learned is hard to stop.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:48 pm

The guy I am dealing with said a back up saves you maybe a few hours, but its way better to go with a generator. Backups run up to 8hrs and its not as full strength as electric obviously.

Our house doesn't leak a whole lot so I opt against a battery backup.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby BillyG » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:09 pm

Yes, it is great to go with a generator, if that is what you are doing. It is also good you are thinking about backup options. Nothing is worse than having the power go out and watching the water come in while you hold a flashlight... I've jumped in a window well in the dark during a rainstorm and bailed with a bucket more than once!

Water powered backup sump pumps will run as long as you have city water pressure. That's why I installed them instead of battery backup pumps. But when I had a battery back pump it saved us on a number of occassions. Usually a peak high-water event lasts less than an hour.

This is one example of a water-powered backup sump. Zoeller and Wayne pumps also make them.
http://www.amazon.com/Basepump-Water-Po ... B000GBUU7G

Good luck!

Billy
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:06 pm

wow check this out
I got another company (previously offered 7k) come in at 5400
I cancelled Thompson for 6k
Thompson offered 5k
Main Line Waterproofing I am still waiting to hear back from.........

This is funny...
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Epsilon Delta » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:45 pm

How long a battery backed up sump pump lasts depends on how fast the water flows in and how big the battery is. This has to be evaluated for your installation. In some cases it could last for weeks. In other case only an hour. In the later case you might still want the batter backup to give you time to start the generator. In any case it last longer if you reduce the ingress of water, so it always helps to divert water before it gets to your basement.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby dratkinson » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:50 pm

A backup, backup sump pump. Powered by city water pressure. (Remembered from another topic.)

Base pump: http://www.basepump.com/Products/Basepu ... fault.aspx

Image
d.r.a, not dr.a.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:34 pm

okay, new deal

This company originally quoted me at 7,000 for 150 feet, 1 pump, 1 basin, crack repairs, battery backup

Now after haggling I got them down to 4,500 for 2 pumps/basins, crack repairs, and a battery backup :)

Main Line Waterproofing is the name. 4,500 bucks sounds like a steal to me....whatcha think?
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby stevep001 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:17 am

In MN, where I live, basements are commonly used as living space. State law requires disclosure of basement water problems to potential purchasers

I went through a conversation about this recently with my parents, whose house has a finished basement that routinely had water problems. We discussed two disclosure scenarios when they get to the point of selling:

a) "We had water problems in our basement, but installed drain tile and a sump pump. Since then we've had no problems."

b) "We have had water problems in our basement in the past."

They spent a couple $000 to go with a).

I'd replace the pump every 5 years, ensure that it runs at least once a year (often they are dry except in heavy rains), and have a generator as a backup power source. If you're worried about the cost of a transfer switch, just buy a couple long extension cords.

This is the generator I have: http://powerequipment.honda.com/generat ... ls/eu2000i. More expensive than many, but quiet, easy to operate, light and easy to transport, runs a long time on one fill, and has an inverter so that the output power will not wreck your electronics.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:06 pm

is there such a thing as going too low on a price (haggling too much)
So low that it effects the quality of the job?

One of my friends was wondering this, but I didn't think a company would agree to a job and just half ass it. Companies stay alive by referrals for the most part right?
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:11 pm

So all in all... is this a good price for...
144 feet, 2 pumps plus battery backup, 4 crack repairs for 4,500 dollars?
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:30 pm

Hate to bump an old post, but I have a question about this installation.

Where the company cut the floor (about 8 inch from the wall all the way around), some spots have efflorescence exactly where they cut the floor. The floor was stained or painted, hard to tell it is very very old so it is kind of chipped up.

The company who installed it said this is common and he came over to clean it and added drylok on the problem areas. After a ton of rain, a couple of new spots occurred. It seems like the parts he coated with drylok look fine.


My question is, is this normal or common?

Here is a picture of one of the spots. Thanks!
This was after a couple days of a ton of rain/snow

Image
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby gsmith » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:28 pm

The Efflorescence is essentially salt from moisture.. It just indicated you had a water issue.

The issue is water pressure... water will build up, until it finds an opening. It's extremely common for someone who fills a crack to find water entering nearby.
That's why people will suggest french drain tile, as the cracks will be akin to whack-a-mole.
Essentially, the drain tile is there to catch the water and slope it towards the sump pump basin.

Sorry there were so many posts that I didn't read the entire thread, but it sounds like the waterproofers originally tried to quote you an overkill solution, and you negotiated them to filling some cracks from the picture. They drilled a hole/chip out the previous crack fill, put in "ports" and injected waterproof foam/sealant. It takes ~10 minutes and costs $80/$130 crack, to have someone drive down.

The waterproofing industry is akin to used car salesmen, they all sell slightly different products, all claiming to provide the best, and try to sell you then $10k solution. If the foundation is sinking, the pneumatic jacking of the house can cost up to $30-40k.

Can you explain what they did again? Did they do drain tile throughout the perimeter, or just where needed? Or did they just fill a few cracks?

Greg

Edit: You're asking if this is normal... This is all about your expectations with the price you paid.
If this is an unfinished basement with this happening with a once a decade flood, I would say you got your money's worth.
If this is where you keep your priceless collections and family memories, and it didn't hold up to a decent rain, I'd be unhappy.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:45 pm

Hey thanks for the reply

They did the entire basement all 4 walls. The basement is unfinished. I got two sump pumps and one battery back up. I really researched big time on Angie's list and although its not 100%, they had a ton of great reviews and a couple few eh ones.

The first quote was 7,000, but I got it down to 4,600 so after seeing this efflorescence, maybe they "half assed" it. The owner of the company assured me that sometimes this happens and a little bit of drylock will do the trick.

I noticed after this last few days of heavy rain/snow, that the blistering/bubbling of the paint/stain on the floor is chipping where they cut the floor. I guess I am just seeing if they are really telling me the truth in saying that it is common and that drylok will be fine. The worst part of the basement got this drylok treatment and it worked. I just hope it never comes back.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby gsmith » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:17 am

Fieldsy1024 wrote:I noticed after this last few days of heavy rain/snow, that the blistering/bubbling of the paint/stain on the floor is chipping where they cut the floor. I guess I am just seeing if they are really telling me the truth in saying that it is common and that drylok will be fine. The worst part of the basement got this drylok treatment and it worked. I just hope it never comes back.

One trick to see where the water is coming from is to run a hose outside for a couple hours next to the foundation for a couple hours.
$4600 is really cheap for a full perimeter DT system, basin, sump pump.

There are a couple ways DT systems fail..
- Pump getting much more water then it can pump out/discharge line being clogged up/frozen.
Because the sump pumps are pumping water directly up, you need to look at head pressure when determining capacity.
- Electricity going off/Pump Failure
This is the reason behind 90% of floods. You really, really should have a backup pump, as the float switch can get caught and not turn on or stay on and burn the motor out, too much water, etc. Pumps should be replaced every 3 years. The backup will sit a little higher then the normal pump, and will be activated when the water line is a couple inches above the capacity of the regular pump. It's connects to a AC/DC converter and a sealed AGM battery. An alarm goes off when it's activated.
- Clogging (There is a nasty orange rust called iron orche, which is from bacteria that contaminate the soil and clog the line. It's impossible to get rid of and when a waterproofer sees it, they give little/no warranty)
- Recycling Water
The discharge might be dumping right next to the house, and coming back into the foundation, causing a loop.

I never heard of drylok before your post, but it looks like a real product. There are so many add-on products like Radon management, mold remediation, etc, etc that you could add onto a quote, and waterproofing is more art then science.


Good Luck
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:54 am

I do have 2 sump pumps as well as a battery backup on one of them.

Funny you say about freezing. Here in Philly it has been between 5-30 degrees for a good amount of time right after all that heavy rain and snow. I know a lot of people swear by drylok, I just wanted to know if anyone else can confirm it will be a 100% perm. fix on this efflorescence issue I am having.

Thanks
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby eharri3 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:29 am

Drylock is not of much use by itself by itself but works well as part of a system that includes proper drainage, a sump pump, and a dehumidifier. It is the last touch to minimize condensation on porous masonry walls but is not meant to be a stand alone measure to stop actual leaks. A lot of people give it bad reviews because they try to use it for that and it fails pretty quickly. If you have a serious water problem it will flake right off but if your issue is light moisture in basement walls it helps. I have it in my basement. From what I am told by neighbors who knew the previous owners it has been there for probably 15-plus years. It is still in great condition except for where I had water leak in around the main water pipe when a plumber who worked on the sump pump in the past routed the discharge too close to the house.

Where they dry locked the leak in those photos might look like it is fine but you should touch the stuff. It can still look like its intact but be delaminated underneath in certain spots where the leaking water broke its grip on the wall or floor. Based on the above photos I would say something is wrong but they chose a quick patch over finding and solving the real problem. Your issue may be related to the fact that they sold you what sounds like an all interior system and you may have issues that should also be addressed by exterior water proofing and drainage measures. Water proofing companies are notorious for hard selling interior only jobs and pushing the idea that excavation and exterior drainage/water proofing measures are prohibitively expensive and impractical. Truth is, they actually are not that expensive in a lot of cases and when that stuff is ignored, the issue tends to keep coming back.

Not as much of a profit margin in a day's worth of digging and landscaping work as there is in prepping and painting masonry walls and chopping up a concrete floor to put in French drains and sump pumps.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:39 am

The picture I personally posted is not a spot that has drylok on it. They did another area a while ago and that area seemed fine. I am starting to see this efflorescence in another spot.

All in all, I was just wondering if this is a common problem after an interior french drain installation.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby hand » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:22 pm

Be aware that in the Philadelphia region (and likely many others) any work that opens up your basement (such as digging of sumps) may have the unintended effect of increasing radon levels in the house.

PM sent with a local vendor I have used for an interior water management system who I thought did good work at a fair price.
Note most effective remedies for my situation were addressing the exterior - rerouting gutters, and regrading the land immediately surrounding the house.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby gsmith » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:56 pm

The first barrier is injecting the crack with foam/drylok to seal the wall. The story makes sense if they filled a crack with drylok, and the gravity and water found the next weakest spot.
Drain Tile has to do with water that has already gotten through the wall and is on the floor, as a second barrier of protection.

If your question is whether efflorescence is normal after waterproofing, it means water has passed the first barrier, and likely is being carried away by the drain tile.

Btw, they do sell radon tests at Target for $12. It's a naturally occurring radioactive gas.
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Re: Would installing a French Drain (interior) be a good inv

Postby Fieldsy1024 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:27 am

The issue is not on my walls, but on my floors near where they cut around my basement.
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