French drain installation

Common Mistakes – Why You Should Leave French Drain Installation to the Professionals

French Drain Installation

As a homeowner, you may be tempted to carry out a French drain installation by yourself. However, there’s much more to the installation than meets the eye. If you want the best results from the process, be sure to have your drain installed by a professional.

The following are common mistakes that the DIY homeowner makes during a French drain installation. These mistakes often lead to damage that costs even more to repair:

  • Trenches that are too narrow or too wide

The size of the trench in which the drain ought to be installed should be well planned for. If the trench is too narrow, the drain is likely to get clogged much faster. If the trench is too wide, then the drain won’t be effective in guiding water away from the foundation.

Your situation is unique and a professional basement contractor will view it as such. They will determine the right trench width for the best results.

  • Installing the pipe with the holes facing up

This is a common mistake with DIY homeowners installing a French drain. They will assume that the holes ought to face up in order for the water to trickle into the holes.

Professionals will ensure that the holes are facing down to allow water to flow quickly into the pipe. They will also choose the right pipe for the different parts of the basement. For example, a professional will know that a pipe with slots will work better in a deep trench while one with holes will work better in a shallow trench.

  • Not placing enough gravel in under the pipe

The gravel under the pipe is vital for ensuring that the drain works well. An adequate amount of gravel is required to ensure that the water is guided into the holes of the pipe. The water will enter the pipe more quickly with a good base of gravel. A professional contractor will know the right amount of gravel to include in the trench.

  • Poor sloping for the pipe

The slope of the pipe determines just how well it drains the water. The right slope for the drain should be about 1%. This allows for the normal flow of water by gravity. A professional will determine the right slope for the drain.

Don’t attempt to install your drain yourself. Ensure that you have a professional contractor to help. This ensures you get it right the first time round.

sump pump

In Basement Waterproofing, Don’t Forget About the Sump Pump

Don’t Forget About the Sump Pump!

A properly waterproofed basement is going to have a sump basin, where moisture in the basement from sources such as condensation, ground run offs and underground water will be channeled to by the perimeter drains of the waterproofing system.

It will also have a sump pump to pump out the water collected to a proper disposal area. These two components are vital in the prevention of water damage to basements, plus all the related problems of excess moisture around the house.

It is not uncommon for people to forget about their installed sump pump system. When was the last time you had yours cleaned, serviced or even checked? Typical recommendations say that sump equipment need to be maintained at least once a year, and this is only for a typical installation where water damage conditions are minimal. In areas where you have the sump pump running every now and then due to bad weather or a higher water table, the frequency of maintenance should be higher.

Rarely used systems may have some component failures that will go unnoticed up until that time of great need, like say a severe rainstorm or a hurricane. The backup systems for the sump can also fail at their time of need simply because they went unchecked for long periods of time. For the avoidance of dire and potentially damaging basement water situations caused by a failed sump system, always remember to check on it.


When carrying out maintenance of your basement waterproofing system, you should clean the sump basin and pump by removing dirt, sand, gravel and other kinds of debris that might be hampering the efficiency of the system.

Such kind of obstructions can greatly affect the ability of the pump to drain out the sump, leading to overflows. They will also force the pump to overheat as it works harder to overcome the impediments, leading to its shortened life.

If your system has the automatic sump pump that has a float switch, make sure it is also cleared of any obstructions that will jam it, and cause it not to switch the pump on or off when necessary. If you don’t have a float guard installed, you should consider getting one to prevent such situations.

Remember to test your system to make sure the pump is working okay because if it not, you will have to call in a qualified technician.