Exterior French Drain Basement Waterproofing

Here, our focus is on discussing how French drains serve exterior basement waterproofing needs.

One of the most efficient waterproofing techniques for basements is that provided by French drains.

French drains are called by several names including foundation drain, weeping tile, drain tile, curtain drain, and perimeter drain.

Basements with moisture problems or water leaks can be fixed using the French drain system.

As you read on, you’ll find information on how the system works, where it’s installed, the cost of installing exterior French drain waterproofing for your basement, as well as how to make the system more efficient.

Exterior French Drain System for Basement Waterproofing is Expensive and Invasive

For many homes, water seepage through the foundation is a major problem.

This is especially true for those with underground basements. Among the many remedial measures is exterior French drain installation.

This is an extensive repair procedure that helps resolve any moisture issues.

Exterior French drain basement waterproofing is expensive for a reason. It’s arguably the best basement waterproofing you’ll find. Also, the installation needs to be performed by a professional for the best results.

With this system in place, hydrostatic pressure against your foundation is significantly reduced.

The cost of installing an exterior French drain system for your basement largely depends on factors such as the drain size, the approach adopted, your location, as well as the contractor hired.

All of these factors combined contribute to determining how much cost you incur.

  • Drain Size

Depending on the extent of your basement moisture problem, a particular French drain size may be recommended by a foundation contractor.

The larger the drain, the more costly its installation is likely to be. The reverse is true for smaller drains.

  • Repair Approach

What repair approach do you wish to adopt for your basement waterproofing needs?

Here, the two main approaches are DIY and professional installation. DIY installation of French drain systems for your basement is not recommended as lots of mistakes can be made by you.

We recommend calling a professional contractor to handle all your installation needs. Through such an approach, you get value for money spent as the outcomes tend to be more reliable.

Of course, professional installation of French drains will be more costly than DIY techniques.

  • Your Location

Your location plays a cost-determining role when it comes to French drain basement waterproofing.

Certain locations like big cities tend to have higher living costs which reflect in the cost of almost every service including exterior French drain basement waterproofing.

You’ll typically find installation costs in such locations being higher than in areas (such as small cities or suburbs) where living costs are lower.

This fact helps you anticipate likely installation costs charged by contractors within your area.

  • Contractor Hired

Professional foundation repair contractors offer a wide range of moisture solutions including the installation of French drains for exterior basement waterproofing.

Every contractor has a unique pricing structure it follows which determines the cost of every waterproofing job.

Based on this knowledge, you can contact multiple basement waterproofing contractors to estimate the cost of your project. In most cases, such assessments are likely to be free.

By comparing the quotes by different contractors, you’re able to choose the best possible deal.

Different Installation Options

When it comes to installing a French drain, there are different approaches.

Both exterior and interior basement waterproofing options are available to pick from. For interior installations, French drains may be placed under your basement floor or other areas within the basement.

As the topic suggests, we’re more interested in exterior French drain basement waterproofing procedures. For this, a French drain is mostly buried along your foundation’s footer.

This helps achieve the function of channeling off excess water from your home’s foundation. As a result, hydrostatic pressure is significantly reduced.

  • DIY Installation Could Cost More

Persons hell-bent on performing their French drain installations projects are more likely to encounter difficulties with the process.

Also, you may end up paying twice to fix any damage you cause while seeking to install your French drain. This is a major construction project that needs to be left to the pros.

Plus, it deals with key structural sections of your home such as the foundation and basement. Any mistake will easily worsen the state of your basement’s foundation. It’s necessary to know the many risks you face and seek professional help to limit such risks.

Increasing the Efficiency of Waterproofing Measures

Without a doubt, your French drain waterproofing measures for your basement help to greatly reduce the buildup of hydrostatic pressure against your foundation wall and floors.

However, there are still other actions you can take to increase the efficiency of this waterproofing technique.

Such measures include ensuring your downspouts are extended away from your foundation, having a yard that slopes away from your home, and clearing your gutters regularly.

What more? You’ll do well to check the type of plants you grow around your home.

  • Downspouts that Extend Away from your Foundation

Downspouts need to work efficiently to ensure water is properly channeled away from your home’s foundation. Short downspouts do the opposite.

They dump water into the soil, thus affecting your foundation which in turn gets to the basement.

  • A Yard that Slopes Away from your Home

The gradient of your yard matters. One that slopes away from your home helps carry water away. Such will work best with your exterior French drain.

  • Clearing your Gutters Regularly

Gutters help direct runoff water from the roof into downspouts. When these are clogged, the free flow of water is affected. This in turn leads to an overflow of water down the side of your home.

To prevent that, you’ll need to have your gutters cleaned regularly.

  • Check the Type of Plants you Grow

When it comes to checking the type of plants you grow, you need to consider their water requirements.

Certain plants or shrubs tend to have higher water requirements than others. You’ll do well to avoid such because watering these frequently could lead to moisture issues that could get to your basement.


Our discussion so far has covered the processes of exterior French drain basement waterproofing. For your installation needs to be met, you’ll need to call the pros to get the job done.

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