How to Install a French Drain with Waterproofing One

                                                   This post is sponsored by HomeAdvisor

As I mentioned in previous posts, John called HomeAdvisor who recommended Waterproofing One. Joe, the owner, is now offering this DIY waterproofing service that was arranged with us to other homeowners. As one of my followers said, “It’s a win, win situation.”

So if you’re strong, have spare time, have good knees, don’t mind getting dirty and want to save major money, you might consider waterproofing yourself. If you have a handy friend or relative who will assist, all the better.

The first step for installing a French drain is to break up the concrete pad in the basement with a jack hammer. The concrete in our basement is approximately 4″ thick. When it was broken up, the footing was exposed which the house is resting on.


The crock is placed at the lowest point where the water is gravity fed to the sump pump from all other locations. In our situation, we have the room above the basement which is on the garage/ground level (I call it the bonus room). It had water damage from lack of having gutters for 20 years, or rather, rotted out gutters. The bonus room also requires a French drain which will connect to the basement drain.

As Andy, the foreman, said, “Each basement is different, therefore each job is custom.”


This is the bonus room directly above the basement. The water damage occurred underneath the windows. The pipe will be pitched down and connect to the French drain in the basement. (The hand rail to the left leads 5 steps down and into the basement.)


After John broke up the pad, he put the concrete in old recycling buckets. Andy dropped off 35 five-gallon buckets on “consultation day” and John filled them with dirt. When Andy returns to drop off the 3/4 stone with the dump truck, he will take away the dirt-filled buckets.


After breaking up the concrete pad, John was flush with the footing, he then dug 6″ down into the dirt–adjacent to the footing–to allow the 4″ perforated pipe to lay next to the footing.




On all of the outside walls, John drilled two weep holes per block, each block is 8″x16.” (A battery operated drill won’t have the power to go through the block easily.) John used a Milwaukee 1/2″ drill a 1/2″ masonry bit ( 3/4″ masonry bit can be used as well). It was a little awkward drilling because John was low to the ground and applying pressure with the drill. (Wear knee pads.)


Because the block is porous, exterior water settles in it. By drilling weep holes at the lowest part of the wall allows the water to flow through the holes and into the perforated pipe. John drilled the holes along the entire perimeter of the basement, the next morning the footing was wet due to a heavy rain the night before. Before drilling the weep holes, it was almost totally dry so we now knew the weep holes had done their job.


After the weep holes were drilled, a black oozing-like tar emanated from them (since this had never been done since the house was built in 1954). John re-drilled all the weep holes to clear them out. He then used a high-powered Craftsman wet-vac to suck all of the black sediment out of the holes so they were clear and clean.

John then scrubbed the footing to take away dirt and debris that would eventually seep into the perforated pipe and sump. Once the footing was clean, any water will be clear, run down the wall, onto the footing and into the 6″ troth, and the 6″ perforated pipe.

Goal: A clean wall, weep holes drilled and cleaned out, a scrubbed footing and vacuumed clean.


Tools required for the job: Post hole digger, pick axe, sledge hammer, shale bar, shovels, hammer as well as the jack hammer rental. (Don’t forget knee pads, mask, measuring tape, drill and wet vac.)


NEXT POST: Installing the pipe, etc.



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