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French Drains-good, bad, or ugly? HELP!

There is some time urgency here. I am in the middle of this problem with a large area dug out and exposed.

I need knowledgeble advise concerning french drains and related foundation issues. I'm in central Alabama, so if you have experience with this area your advise will be especially appreciated. I'm trying to do all the work involved myself (except for hiring some day labor to help dig).

The following actually avoids the long story. My existing french drains are right at the footer of my house. The drains are about 25 years old on a 30-35 year old house. While digging a little to replace a downspout drain I discovered a lot of silt and roots between the styro sheet and the "painted-on" waterproofing and the deeper I went the worse news I found. The old styro is the type (I'm told) that termites get in. The waterproofing is peeling off in large patches. I'm certain the drains are clogged and I have a slight moisture issue in my finished basement. Because of building nearby I am the recipient of a lot of runoff at times and I don't really have a recourse except to redirect the water on my own. I have 3 issues as I understand it: rain/runoff, waterproofing, and sub-surface hydrostatic water pressure.

I know I've got hard work ahead of me, but I need not to spend more than I have to.

I think my plan for water redirection will work. I have a source for high-quality waterproofing material and advice. My area of ignorance is the french drains. I've researched and found a lot of different ideas. I want to do this right. Can anyone offer me advice? I can post more details, but if someone is willing to talk this over with me I'd really appreciate it.

You may call or text me at (205) 612-8296. If you don't have free long distance email me at [email protected] and I'll call you on your land-line if you want.


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