The Pros and Cons of an Interior Footing Drain

Waterproofing a basement can take many forms and methods, each with varying degrees of success. When considering how to waterproof your basement, there are many factors to consider. Cost, how hard it is to install, even how well the interior French drain system will work as intended, all have to be considered when looking to waterproof your basement.

An interior footing drain is one of these waterproofing methods. Interior footing drains are a type of drainage system that is installed around the perimeter of a home’s foundation. They are designed to prevent water from seeping into the home’s basement or crawlspace.

In terms of interior French drain installation, you first remove the edges of the concrete slab then dig a trench around the perimeter of the foundation. A perforated pipe (4 inches in diameter) is put in the trench to aid in drainage and is covered with crushed stone. Concrete is finally poured over the trench to complete the drain. Most interior French drains work with existing sump pump systems to remove collected water from the basement entirely.

While interior footing drains can be an effective solution for preventing water damage, they also have some pros and cons that homeowners should consider before installing them.

PROS Of Interior Footing Drains

  • Does not require excavation: External waterproofing systems like French drains or waterproof coatings require excavation of earth around your house. Interior footing drains are installed from the inside of your basement, which doesn’t require costly excavation of landscaping outside.
  • Installation is not weather-dependent: Another benefit of an interior footing drain is it can be installed indoors without being threatened by rain, mud, or other harsh weather conditions. By installing the drain inside the basement, it can be installed quickly, even when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate.
  • Cheaper than exterior methods: Interior footing drains are installed on the interior of the basement, which not only saves extra labor, but also cost. Exterior waterproofing methods like French drains require excavation and costly installation. Interior drains do not and are therefore cheaper.

CONS Of Interior Footing Drains

  • Cutting concrete isn’t easy: Installing an interior footing drain is cheaper than other methods, but that’s not to say it’s easy. These types of drains require cutting into the concrete slab, which is no easy task. This is something to consider.
    Cost: Installing interior footing drains can be costly, and the cost can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project.
  • Will not stop wall seepage: An interior footing drain will effectively drain water that gets into a basement at the floor junction, but it does nothing when water comes in through the walls. Drains are designed to work with gravity, draining water from the lowest point and removing it from the home using a sump pump. But any water-related issue involving basement walls is not addressed by interior drain systems.
  • Maintenance: Interior footing drains need to be inspected and cleaned regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly. This can be time-consuming and costly and requires a professional to do it.
  • Potential for clogging: Interior footing drains can become clogged with debris, which can prevent them from functioning properly. This can cause water to back up and potentially flood the basement or crawlspace.

Overall, interior footing drains can be an effective solution for preventing water damage to a home’s foundation. However, homeowners should consider the cost, maintenance requirements, and potential for clogging before installing them. It is essential to work with a professional contractor who can evaluate the specific needs of your home and provide an estimate for the installation and maintenance costs.

The SANI-TRED Alternative

If you’re looking for an alternative to address your waterproofing needs, consider SANI-TRED products. SANI-TRED can waterproof your basement without the need for trenches, drains, excavation, or other costly waterproofing solutions, with the added benefit of being affordable. While easier to install than other methods, interior footing drains are still not as easy or effective as SANI-TRED.

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