Interior vs. Exterior Drains

Topic: 
Drainage
Question: 

I'm trying to get a question answered about waterproofing. My problem is water coming in along one wall and water damage along another wall that has rotted out the part of the stair case. All the waterproofing experts I've had in say I need this internal French drain sort of system whereby you drill holes in the block and run this new system into a sump pump. They say an exterior fix is only good for a few years at best and is enormously expensive. What do you think of these internal systems? Are they the best way to go? I really appreciate any answer you can give. We've been given quotes from $5,000 to $10,000 so before sinking that kind of money in, what advice can you give?

Answer: 

I for one find that working with the drainage on the outside of the home works best. It may not work in every situation but it seems to work in 95% of homes 95% of the time - not bad. I also like the idea that by working from the outside, you are diverting the water away from the structure i.e. prevention.

Here is a quick list of critical steps:

(1) Make sure that roof drainage water is diverted away from the structure.

(2) Slope the ground around the foundation for maximum drainage away from the foundation (minimum 3 feet out from the foundation).

(3) Maintain gutter/downspout/drain systems.

(4) Make sure that old drain systems have not deteriorated and are now causing some of the water entry problems.

(5) Splash blocks tend not to work.

Most of these steps are simple, might to the whole job AND will be required with any type of drainage systems (interior or exterior) - George