We recently bought a 20 yr old home next to a lake in NC.. within a couple thousand feet. It doesn't rain incredibly often here but we've noticed when it does rain it pours 2-3 times the amount we received when we lived 20 minutes from the lake. I've gone down in the crawlspace during and after a rain and notice water seeping through the foundation wall. There is no french drain system installed inside or outside the foundation wall and all of the downspouts just have those little kick plates right where they meet the ground.
Last weekend I installed a sump pump with seep basin in the lowest spot just to keep water from standing, and to prevent it from ever building up enough to reach the equipment down there (water heater, air handlers, etc) .. which from the mud lines I saw it looks like its done before. When I installed the sump basin I ran rock channels out off of every connection point so it wouldn't be terribly difficult to add an interior french drain down the road.
The land around the house is very sandy and there is a hard clay bed 3-4ft down. The house has been in these conditions for 20yrs and shows no signs of uneven settling, no cracks in any walls nor foundation, so I'm wondering how much I should worry about the water. I would at least like to tile all of the downspouts away from the house but given there is a downspout at every corner of the house (and some in the middle) and the way the house sets on the property I would have to tile pretty much all the way around the house to reach the a discharge point. I feel like if I'm going to dig all the way around the house I might as well install a french drain while I'm at it but part of me thinks most/all of the water issues I have could be solved just by getting the downspout water away from the foundation. Or should I maybe tile the downspouts away and install a french drain inside the foundation? Or.. not worry about it at all?