Footing drains collect any water accumulations at the base of the foundation and divert that water away from the structure and into a natural or man-made drainage system. The footing drain system is usually composed of a set of pipes, gravel and filter fabric that collects the water from the perimeter of the foundation. The collected water is then directed toward an on-site or off-site storm water system.
When properly installed, footing drains eliminate hydrostatic pressure at the foundation and thus prevent any water at the exterior of the foundation from finding its way into the basement or crawl space. Such drains can also be used to vent Radon gas.
The quality of any footing drain system will depend upon the design of the system, the quality of the material used and the installation practices. Since this is one of those system that is very difficult to repair or correct after installation, some extra effort during the installation is very important.