French drain


Old 09-05-12, 07:56 AM
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French drain

Hey guys I have a finished basement with an internal french drain system and a sump pump, I have lived in my house for about a year now and haven't had a problem. Tuesday night something happened and the sump pump couldn't keep up and flooded my basement some.

Looking at the front of my house the right side and front have good slope away from the house, but the left side has a slope coming from the neighbors property on to mine, and the back is pretty flat. This side of the basement is where my sump pump is located, and I am sure where 99% of the water is coming in at.

I think the water that enters my internal french drain is mostly ground water, I never have any water coming into my sump other than during a very heavy downpour, or during a heavy steady rain.

would I benefit from adding a shallow french drain around the back and left side of my house and divert the water to my front yard. This would keep the surface run off from peculating down along my foundation.

Would this help?
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Old 09-05-12, 08:19 AM
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I would try to divert the water coming from your neighbor with surface grading or a ditch if possible. During a heavy downpour the water may not have time to soak into the soil to reach a French drain.
Old 09-05-12, 08:25 AM
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What if I were to do everything you would do for a french drain but put river rock over it instead of sod, this would allow the water to run right into it.
Old 09-05-12, 11:20 AM
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Xandrew -

You only have 1 year of experience living in the house and are just basing where the source is based on the location where you see it enter the basement is not enough for a 99% sure guess. Water runs both vertically down, horizontally and in some cases upward from capillary action.

If you can see the improper grading on one side of the and can divert the water in a "swale" and direct it toward the front, that would be route to go because it keeps the water away from the backfilled construction area 5' or more around a basement.

Water goes through sod and especially through rock and pure, clean rock is not proper material unless you can prevent the fines from the surrounding soil and a just a "sock" is not the real solution.


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