4 years ago I bought a house in a town on the Canadian border of MN.
What I didn't realized was...the property is sloping and my neighbor filled his property up so it's half a foot higher than mine.
Combined with the slope...I have quite a bit of water running diagonal towards the house and then it seems to collect on the opposite corner of the house because that is the wettest area in the crawlspace and the room above barely warms up during the winter. I had issues with outside doors not closing and cracks in the sheet rock.
So to make it short ...I need a drainage system, but I get confused about the different systems.
Is a French drain around the house and at the property lines to my neighbors the right approach?
Do I put the pipe just above the T shape footing or do I go lower since it is so cold up here?
As I understand, a floating footing is only 14-16" deep.
I noticed that they left the footing forms in the ground...They should have came off, right?
I plan on digging myself and would like to take this opportunity to insulate the footing and wooden crawlspace from the outside.
So do I put concrete paint on or not? Then insulation sheets and then membrane ...or is that overdoing it?
Do I start at the highest end of the house/property and work my way down with the slope of 6" per 10'?
I can run the drain to a storm water ditch, I already asked.
I know these are a lot of questions and I hope someone can answer them because I only want to do this once and hopefully have all my issues resolved.

  • What is a "floating crawlspace foundation"? Nevermind. Found an answer here
    – wallyk
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


There are too many questions in this to do a good job of answering so I will tackle the most important one.

I would build a French drain from above the house along the property line: build it as high up the property as you can afford to go and at least 3' deep. The depth will help capture both surface and subsurface water movement. If you also have water coming down the slope to the top of the property, a drain 20-30' in front of the house that is higher on one side sloping down to where it can tie into the property line drain would be the best starting point to try and reduce the water issues.

If there is still standing water in the lowest corner, you may have to dig a trench under the footer and install another drain there, though not as deep as the main one along the property line going straight downhill until it is at the surface and gravity will keep the crawl space dry.

When I put drains in I use the perforated pipe that comes in a sock. It prevents the small gravel from getting in the holes and filling the pipe. pipe in sock it cost more but really helps over the years. enter image description here

  • Thank you for your previous answer @Ed Beal , I understand what you mean but have concerns about the 20-30' of distance between house and drain. I would have to fill up the yard to make the water go there which would mean that the dirt/sand at the house would cover 1/3 of the skirt of the crawlspace which I try to avoid. If I let it be as is, the water will still end up at that corner of the house.
    – Lucy W.
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 4:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.