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internal french drain can be installed in a no footing basement?

Posted by james_007 (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 14, 11 at 13:06

We are thinking about put a french drain down to our full basement, about 7' below the ground. The house is a 1950's ranch house. The basement is poured concrete. There is no cracks on all walls. We are in Boston, MA.

There is no footing in this house. I found this from a plumbing project.

Because there is no footing, I am worry about the internal french drain project will weaken the foundation. During the installation, they will cut the concrete floor and dig a trench aside the wall then put back some gravels. those gravels and pipes will not as strong or tight as the original earth. Am I right? we do got lots of water from the wall-floor joints last spring during the VERY heavy rain because the water table was higher than usual.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: internal french drain can be installed in a no footing baseme

There is no footing

It's hard to believe that a home built in the 1950s in Boston would be missing footings. But anything's possible.

I don't like internal water handling systems since they do nothing to prevent continuing water damage, including undermining the foundation. But I suppose that as long as the trenches don't go below the foundation, they may not aggravate whatever support problems have developed.


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RE: internal french drain can be installed in a no footing baseme

we have done outside grading and we cannot dig from outside.

I will find out how deep the wall goes down from the floor and make the trench as shallow as possible.


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RE: internal french drain can be installed in a no footing baseme

If your home has no footing than it is a monolithic pour. It would be a very bad idea to try and open the floor for any reason. Your only option, if you really cant dig, is to go with an above floor baseboard system.


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RE: internal french drain can be installed in a no footing baseme

I have opened few feet and found it is not a monolithic structure showing in the bottom link. The wall is NOT sit on top of the floor. The wall goes down few inches and I can see the floor and the wall were separate pour. I hope my understanding is right.

Here is a link that might be useful: monolithic


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RE: internal french drain can be installed in a no footing baseme

A monolithic foundation doesn't have to be a slab, as illustrated in this builder's blog where the footings and walls are done in one pour.

At the same time, it would be unusual to have a monolithic foundation enclosing a full-height basement.

If you dig down beside the wall in one section you'll find out for sure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Three Types of Concrete Foundations


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RE: internal french drain can be installed in a no footing baseme

same issue with my house. How did you proceed?


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