July 18, 2024

Why You Need an Interior French Drain in Your Basement

Having a basement can be a great addition to any home, providing extra space for storage or even creating a cozy living area. However, one of the biggest challenges that homeowners face when it comes to basements is keeping them dry. This is where an interior French drain can come to the rescue.

An interior French drain is a trench filled with gravel and a perforated pipe that is installed around the perimeter of your basement. Its purpose is to collect and redirect groundwater away from your home’s foundation, preventing water damage and potential flooding.

The Benefits of DIY Interior French Drain

Installing an interior French drain in your basement can offer several benefits. First and foremost, it can help to keep your basement dry, preventing the growth of mold and mildew, which can be harmful to your health. Additionally, it can protect your foundation from water damage, saving you from costly repairs in the long run.

Another advantage of a DIY interior French drain is that it can be a cost-effective solution. While hiring a professional to install a French drain can be expensive, doing it yourself can help you save money. With the right tools and materials, you can complete the project at a fraction of the cost.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before you start installing your DIY interior French drain, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials. Here’s a list to get you started:

  • Shovel
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Gravel
  • Perforated pipe
  • PVC pipes and fittings
  • Drainage fabric
  • Concrete or mortar mix
  • Waterproofing sealant

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing a DIY Interior French Drain

Step 1: Plan and Prepare

Start by planning the layout of your interior French drain. Determine where the water will be directed and make sure you have a suitable exit point. Once you have a plan in place, gather all the necessary tools and materials.

Step 2: Excavate the Trench

Use a shovel to excavate a trench around the perimeter of your basement. The trench should be approximately 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Use a level to ensure that the trench is level all the way around.

Step 3: Install the Perforated Pipe

Place the perforated pipe in the trench, making sure it is sloping towards the exit point. Connect the pipes using PVC fittings, and cover them with drainage fabric to prevent debris from clogging the system.

Step 4: Backfill with Gravel

Fill the trench with gravel, covering the perforated pipe completely. Make sure the gravel is evenly distributed and compacted to provide proper drainage.

Step 5: Seal the Trench

Once the trench is filled with gravel, seal it with concrete or mortar mix to ensure stability and prevent water from seeping into your basement.

Step 6: Test the Drainage System

After the installation is complete, run water through the system to test its efficiency. Make sure the water is being directed away from your foundation and that there are no leaks or blockages.


Installing a DIY interior French drain in your basement can be a rewarding project that helps to keep your basement dry and your foundation protected. With the right tools, materials, and a little bit of know-how, you can tackle this project and enjoy a dry and functional basement for years to come.