Which one is the best foundation drainage system: French or surface drain?

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Do you need an apt foundation repair for the drainage system? The basement is a common area where drainage issues come to life. Most of the time, only an expert can help you determine the right option. However, basic knowledge about foundation drainage systems is required to make informed decisions.

Opting amongst the French drain installation and surface drain is a Chinese puzzle. In regions where the chances of water accumulation are higher, a sound drain system is necessary. And basement waterproofing is best possible with an expert drainage option for you!

Although your foundation repair contractor shall select the drainage system, getting first-hand knowledge can help you.

With some more general details, you can ensure better and advanced basement waterproofing and stay carefree.

What’s the right time to do foundation repair?

Choosing the climate matters a lot for completing the French drain installation or the surface one. If the cracks worry you, a drain system is necessary, and so is the timing. Let’s find out the best weather for this:

  • Winter — It might be an odd time as most of the other repair and construction work is halted. However, monitoring the foundation damage in winters is more accessible. Since the soil is more stable, it is an ideal time to complete the foundation work.
  • Summer — Spring or summer is also an excellent option for repairs and renewals of the Foundation repair system. It is easier to find the problems and solve them in this season. Even logistics of tools and equipment is easier during this period.

Although you have the choice of deciding when to spend for foundation damage, it is not so easy. The aggravation of foundation damage is quicker and more intense.

Therefore, acting quickly is more of a priority than timing the repair. Foundation Repair in Knoxville is not the easiest given the diversity in natural conditions.  To identify the damage quickly, there are certain indicators that you may keep an eye out for. 

  • Misaligned windows and doors
  • Ceiling and wall cracks
  • Leaned chimneys
  • Uneven floors
  • Water in basement

Why opt for French drain systems?

French drain systems are advanced drainage systems that help in averting mold, water damage, and flooding. It is the best system to help you solve the foundation damages. There are two major types of french drain systems — exterior and interior.

Exterior French Drains

These are usually installed on the outer lines of the foundation. It comprises a flexible perforated drain pipe located at the bottom of the foundation footing. Then the gravel is used around the pipe for the filtration of sediments and dirt. 

When the water accumulates near the foundation walls, it gets into the pipe and naturally flows towards the house. Therefore, the place needs to have a steep incline so that the drainage water flows away. Having a sufficient outlet is vital to make the best use of exterior french drains.

 Exterior French Drain installation is more challenging as it calls for replacing porches, landscaping, decks, and sidewalk. Its maintenance is also a concern due to the excavation in the exteriors. There are chances of clogging of pipes in this system. Since there is a gradual buildup of soil on top of it, clogging is imperative.

Interior French Drains

The next option for the basement waterproofing is the interior French drains system. It also includes a perforated pipe but the installation is near the perimeter around the basement floor. Like the exterior drains, gravel and sediments are necessary to surround the pipe. It then collects water through the basement wall-floor joint and the removal through the foundation pump. 

Interior French drain installation is not as labor-intensive as that of exterior ones. Its maintenance is more manageable, and even the pipes are quite accessible. The pipe can get clogged as it buries deep under several feet of dirt. They also stay protected from variations in soil conditions inside the drainage system. But the installation can go on all year round.

Why opt for Surface drains?

When installing the surface drain system, the water collects till the concrete slab and even underneath the beam and pier foundation. If the foundation is sloped towards the house, the surface drain is probably a must. 

They are a series of underground pipes that remove the water from basins. Square basins of around 9 to 12 inches are formed for the drainage water to be collected.     

Through the pipes, this water is directed to desired outlets. Surface drains are the best when it comes to houses with improperly graded foundations. They also facilitate the capture of rainwater if placed properly.

It is also a viable option for foundation repair. You can further consult with your contractor to make the best choices. 

Which is the better pick — French or surface drains system?

In several ways, the French drain systems work as a better choice compared to the surface drains. They are an all-rounder that is suitable for most of the houses.

But if your house’s foundation is not properly graded or has excessive slopes, surface drains are better choices.

Parting Words:

It all boils down to understanding your house and your basement well. The type of soil, the surroundings, the slopes are all major factors that dictate the type of foundation system required. 

Whilst these seem simple factors, understanding their influence on the foundation system is hard. Therefore, it is advisable to leave it to the experts to sort the drainage issues out. As mentioned earlier, foundation repair in Knoxville is not the easiest task. 

So, investing early in a professional foundation repair company is your best bet.  One of them is Guardian Foundation repair who acts as your one-stop solution. From fixing a small leak to revamping your house’s drainage system, we are the best.

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