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Coopfab

08:57AM | 02/10/11
Member Since: 02/10/11
6 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
We're considering having a french drain system installed in our unfinished basement to collect water that comes in every Spring where the foundation walls meet the cement floor. Our foundation walls are cement block and we've been told that due to the age of our house it's quite likely there is no footing supporting the walls. Will putting in a french drain system, with a trench as much as 15" deep that's back filled with irregularly shaped washed stone, impact the integrity of the walls? Any comments or suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

LarryG

09:39AM | 02/10/11
Member Since: 07/22/04
526 lifetime posts
Where is this located?

Coopfab

09:46AM | 02/10/11
Member Since: 02/10/11
6 lifetime posts
If you mean, where will the french drain system be installed, it will be where the foundation wall meets the floor. Let me know if this doesn't answer your question.

LarryG

12:51PM | 02/10/11
Member Since: 07/22/04
526 lifetime posts
Any attempt to remedy basement water infiltration should be attacked from the outside of the house first and work performed inside only as a last resort. The reason I say this is because you want to get to the root of the problem instead of dealing with the after effect of it. Make sense?

What I meant by where was the geographic location so I could get an idea of the frost depth.


Coopfab

12:56PM | 02/10/11
Member Since: 02/10/11
6 lifetime posts
We're just outside of Boston, MA. I guess we're at the "band-aid" stage, there's no way to get at the root of the problem, we'd have to excavate the foundation for the entire house which is out of the question. Thanks for your continued interest.

LarryG

01:10PM | 02/10/11
Member Since: 07/22/04
526 lifetime posts
So you want to install a french drain around the perimeter of the basement,(inside) and have it feed into a sump pump right?
Yeah you can dig around the walls because they construct the walls first and pour the slab after.

Coopfab

03:43PM | 02/10/11
Member Since: 02/10/11
6 lifetime posts
Yes, you're correct. Is there the potential that the cement block wall will settle, crack, or shift because they do not sit on a footing? I'm concerned that disturbing the dirt below the slab along the foundation walls will impact the integrity of the wall. What do you think? Might you be a foundation expert? Thanks for your continued interest.

Allison1888

12:00AM | 02/11/11
Member Since: 03/24/08
62 lifetime posts
I would make sure they go in a little extra from the walls so that you don't get into the issue of disturbing the foundation. Also, if you haven't already, make sure your landscaping drainage is funneling away from the house and that gutters are also channeling things away...you'd be amazed what a difference that can make.

LarryG

07:00AM | 02/11/11
Member Since: 07/22/04
526 lifetime posts
Your best bet would be to hire a structural engineer to evaluate what is going on here. Nobody can be absolutly sure anyway without seeing it.

Coopfab

07:51AM | 02/11/11
Member Since: 02/10/11
6 lifetime posts
Thank you both for your comments, you've been a big help.
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