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Exterior French Drain

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Exterior French Drain

Montreal, South Shore, Laval

Exterior drain tiles or "French Drains" around the perimeter of the foundation footing are the first line of defense against groundwater. Combined with the proper membranes this is the best solution to handle any water infiltration problems.

A “French Drain” is an ancient technique in which a ditch is excavated around a building which is then filled with gravel, as a means to redirect surface and ground water away from penetrating or damaging building foundations.  The actual term was taken from Henry F. French who promoted the drainage technique in the mid-1800s in a book called “Farm Drainage”.   In truth, the French name “Drains Francais” is a misnomer because it should be called a Drain French”. 

The most common causes of basement water infiltration are unmanaged rain runoff and high water tables. Rainwater from the roof flows down through the soil and collects at the bottom of the original foundation excavation. While the weight of the saturated earth alone can break a wall, the situation worsens when the water freezes and exerts a lateral force that can cause cracks and buckling.

Exterior French Drain Installation

“How to build a French Drain”. To create a French drainage system we first excavate around the perimeter of the building all the way to the footing of the foundation.  Our team washes the foundation and inspects it for cracks and imperfections. We then fill all the large cracks with injections and resurface the imperfections with a hydraulic cement for a smooth surface to apply the membranes. Once this product has cured, a protective coating of Elastomeric Membrane is sprayed on the foundation which creates an impenetrable rubber barrier, this will cut all the humidity into the concrete and to help prevent future deterioration.  Once the Elastomeric Membrane has cured, a dimpled plastic membrane called Delta-MS fully seals the foundation, this membrane will relieve the pressure of the earth off the wall creating drainage and protects the rubber membrane from damages during the backfill.  We then lay out Weeping Tile (perforated plastic pipe) around the building, coated with a Geotextile over it used to prevent migration of the drainage material as well as preventing dirt and roots from entering and clogging the drainage pipe.  Once the French Drain is installed we cover it with 2 feet of 3/4 inch clean gravel.  Finally, the gravel is covered with earth all the way to the previous ground level.

Exterior French Drains

Step 1:Excavate down to the footing around the perimeter.

Step 2:Scrape and wire-brush the wall clean.

Step 3:Clean the wall with a pressure washer to remove all loose material.

Step 4:Seal cracks with injection in necessary & fill in all joints with hydraulic cement for a smooth surface to apply membrane.

Step 5:Apply elastomeric membrane (Cantex coating/Rubberized membrane).

Step 6:Apply wall drain and protection board (DELTA MS).

Step 7:Lay down the French Drain (weeping tile) wrapped with a geotextile protection cloth.

Step 8:Connect French Drain to existing drain or create sump pump pit.

Step 9:Connect window well and cleanout pipes.

Step 10:Cover French Drain with 24" of 3/4 clean clean gravel for maximum drainage and filtration.

Step 11:Backfill & grade the earth around perimeter.

Step 12:Remove all excess earth & clean work area.

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