I don't have a way to divert the gutters right now. I also have minor seepage when we have heavy rain.

My question is

  • Do I really need to go down to the foundation footer or is 2-3ft depth for a french drain against the foundation enough for me?

  • Should I use solid or perforated?

  • Basement also has an existing pump that helps drain water.

Option A: photo

Right now I’ve dug down 2.5 ft and was wondering if that’s good enough - do I really need to go all the way to the foundation if my main issue is routing the downspout ? Only 1 downspout has heavy rain and originally I was going to run perforated pipe + 1.5" rock to the edge of the property.

Option B: photo

Then I realized I already have a 2" drain for my sump pump on the complete other side.

I was thinking though - all this water should then flow in front of foundation. So should I run the main downspout into a solid drain pipe and forget the gravel/French drain and route it off to the other side where there's the existing 2" drain.

  • What does the grading of the area surrounding the house looks like?
    – Huesmann
    Jul 26, 2023 at 12:04

1 Answer 1


You want a solid drain for a downspout. The reason you don't run perforated drain above the footer is because it will do the opposite of what you're trying to prevent, which is carry and hold water against your foundation. Perforated pipe below your footer will relieve the hydrostatic pressure under your basement slab. You can do a surface level perforated drain to absorb surface water in a wide area as long as it's away from the foundation. You could also do perforated near the end of the line where you're dumping the water so it spreads out the area it is ejected, but make sure it's far enough from the house.

Perforated pipe is a two-way street, it can both absorb and eject water, so take that into account when you're formulating your plan.

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