What Can be Done to Control Water Accumulation at the Foundation?

The best time to control water accumulations at the foundation of a house is during the initial construction process. This work must include:

  • Analysis of Ground Water and Flood Conditions: There is very little that can be done at a building site in flood areas and/or high water tables. The two basic options in such locations are:

    • Don't build on that site (my recommendation!)
    • Build a very high foundation where the actual structure is above any potential flood level.
    • Buy a lot of very good and expensive flood insurance.

  • Site Analysis: the size and topography of a lot will help determine how surface and ground water can be channeled and diverted away from the foundation of a structure. Some important considerations include:

    • The slope of the land and ways to maximize water flow away from the building(s).
    • Natural and man-made drainage - can collected water be diverted into a natural or man-made drainage system.
    • Soil conditions - will the soil on the land absorb water?

  • Foundations Design The basic idea here is to build a foundation with a built-in drainage system and a design that promotes water flow away from the basement or crawl space. The key elements in such a design are:
    • Footing Drains

  • Exterior waterproofing of the foundation walls and/or surfacing the exterior of the foundation walls with a drain down system that promoted water flow along the outside of the foundation wall and into the footing drain.
  • An independent downspout drain system that diverts all roof drainage away from the foundation.
  • Grading the maximizes surface water flow away from the foundation.

The cost of good planing and a good foundation drainage system is relatively small especially when compared to the cost of corrective steps. My enthusiasm for the Form-A-Drain system is due in part to its ability to produce interior and exterior footing drains as an integral part of the footing construction.

Footing Drains