Q: I'm shopping around for a system that will flood-proof my basement. During periods of heavy rain we get one to two inches of floodwater in our basement. The water comes in where the floor joins the wall. A contractor estimated that it would cost $3,700 to cut a trench around the perimeter, and put in a sump and pump. Does this sound like a fair price to you? And is there an alternative method of flood-proofing, such as a sealant?

— Mike, Katy, Texas

A: Tom Silva replies: Waterproofing a basement with a French drain is a lot of work and needs to be done be someone who knows what their doing. It sounds like your water problem is coming up from under the floor, so I think a French drain and sump pump system will work. I don't know the size of your basement but $3,700 sounds very fair. Read more about French drains in Flood Watch.
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