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Do I Need a French Drain in My Crawl Space? (Pros and Cons)

Do I Need a French Drain in My Crawl Space? (Pros and Cons)

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If you’re asking yourself, “Do I need a french drain in my crawl space?” the answer is likely yes!

In humid climates, moisture can penetrate through the soil and crawl space floor, rising up into your home through small cracks in the foundation.

Thankfully, you can avoid the damaging effect of unwanted moisture by installing a French drain in your crawl space.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of installing a French drain in your crawl space. This way, you can decide whether or not you’ll need one.

Do I Need a French Drain In My Crawl Space?

The moisture of groundwater represents a constant source of humidity that can lead to serious problems if not addressed in time. The main sign of a problem is when you see water pooling on the ground under your home during heavy rainfalls.

So, if you live in an area that receives a lot of rainfall, chances are you’ll need a French drain in your crawl space.

To decide whether or not installing it is a good idea, let’s take a quick look at its upsides and downsides!

Pros of Installing a French Drain

French drains are an efficient and cost-effective way to keep your crawl space dry. Therefore, they can help reduce the risk of foundation damage.

In addition, French drains work to improve the quality of your indoor air by preventing musty odors from developing in your crawl space. That’s good to hear for people with asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Let’s not forget that maintaining a dry crawl space minimizes the chances of mold growth and pest infestations. As these two can also cause many health issues, keeping them at bay is a must for every homeowner.

Cons of Installing a French Drain

There are several potential disadvantages to installing a French drain.

First, the drain must be properly installed in order to be effective. This can be a challenging and time-consuming task if the crawl space is small or difficult to access.

Second, French drains require regular maintenance. You must clear the drain of any debris on a regular basis, and the surrounding area must be monitored for any signs of leaks or other problems.

Finally, French drains can be expensive to install and maintain. Sometimes, it may be more cost-effective to waterproof the basement or crawl space instead of installing a French drain.

Things to Consider Before Installing a French Drain

There are a few factors you need to consider before installing a French drain. Let’s address them in depth so that you can make a well-informed decision.

Internal vs. External French Drain

French drains can be installed either internally or externally. The choice of which type to use depends on the specific situation.

Internal French drains can be a good idea if an existing drainage system is already in place. This way, you can connect them to this system seamlessly.

External French drains are typically used when there is no current drainage system or when the existing system is inadequate.

Type of Pipes

There are two main types of pipes that can be used for a French drain: perforated and non-perforated pipes.

A perforated pipe has small holes along its length that allow water to seep into it. On the other hand, a non-perforated pipe doesn’t have any holes and relies solely on gravity to pull water into it.

The type of pipe you choose depends on the amount of water you’ll need to get rid of and how fast you want it removed.

A perforated pipe is best for large amounts of water and higher drainage speed. On the contrary, a non-perforated pipe works better with smaller quantities of water as it offers much slower drainage.

French Drain Installation Costs

​​The cost of installing a French drain can vary depending on several factors. These include the size of the trench, the type of pipes used, whether or not you hire professional help, etc.

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay around $500-$18,000 to install a French drain.

If you decide to replace an existing drainage system with a French drain, the cost can increase significantly as excavation may be required to install the new system properly.

The raw materials needed for installation (trench, gravel, pipes, etc.) can also add up quickly.

Hiring professionals to help with installation will add quite a bit to project costs but may save you so much money in the long run.

This will ensure that the job gets done correctly the first time around.

Final Thoughts

You should now have the answer to your question: do I need a French drain in my crawl space?

Installing a French drain can be a great way to remove excess water from a crawl space to prevent flooding or soil erosion.

However, before moving forward with the installation, you should consider a few things, such as why you need one, how much it will cost, and others.


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