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Basement Waterproofing in MI, including Warren, Sterling Heights & Ann Arbor.

Exterior Drain Tile Systems in Michigan

Illustration of an exterior French drain system installed around the perimeter of a home

Cutaway of a French drain system installed on the outside of the concrete footing of a home foundation. A discharge line would also be included to send the water away from your home.

Shown in this photo is the French drain itself (filled with water), a fill of stone, and the backfilled soil.

One way of basement waterproofing that many contractors will suggest for waterproofing a basement is to install a french drain system along the outside perimeter of your home.

To install an exterior French drain, the contractor will take the following steps:

  1. First, the entire perimeter of your home must be cleared. Gardens, steps, porches, etc., must be removed before the work can begin.
  2. Next, the contractor will dig out the perimeter of your home. Excavated dirt will be heaped around the house.
  3. The drain will be laid in a bed of stone along the bottom. The stone, and possibly a layer of filter fabric, are there to protect the drain from clogging.
  4. The excavated soil will be "backfilled" on top of the system. In a year, this soil will settle, and the contractor will need to return to fill in more soil.

At Foundation Systems of Michigan, we do not recommend this type of drainage system installed in your home. Instead, we suggest installing an interior basement drain along the inside perimeter of your basement or crawl space. For a free waterproofing quote in the Michigan area, call or e-mail us today!

Getting Ready To Install an Exterior French Drain

A home before a french drain installation
You Will Need to Remove:
  • Trees
  • Shrubberies
  • Gardens
  • Porches
  • Steps
  • Sidewalks
  • Patios
  • Driveways
  • ..And More

You can expect the contractors to create huge heaps of excavated soil all around your home, creating a mess.

On top of that, the process is extremely expensive, costing $15,000 to $20,000 per installation.

The installation time is twice as long or more, than if you choose to have an interior system put in.

Failing French Drains in Michigan

clogged french drain found in Cheboygan, Petoskey, Cadillac, Alpena, Michigan

A clogged French drain system found installed around a home in Cheboygan, Petoskey, Cadillac, Alpena, MI.

French drain systems have been installed on the outside of homes since the 1920's, and if they were the best way to dry a basement, Foundation Systems of Michigan would be installing them, too.

Unfortunately, placing a French drain or exterior footing drain along the outside is a recipe for failure. When you put a drainage system several feet under the earth, even in a bed of gravel, it will eventually clog with dirt, roots, and debris.

Sometimes, a contractor will try to stop this by laying down a layer of filter fabric around the drain. In this case, instead of the drain clogging, the filter fabric does and won't let water into the pipe. Other problems, such as freezing pipes and improperly sloped lines are also common. This type of exterior drainage commonly will not handle water that collects under your basement floor, in which case you'll still need a sump pump inside your basement. Some contractors even connect the exterior drains to the sump pump inside. Now that's sure to clog!

What happens when your drainage system clogs? It will need to be excavated and you'll have to start over. Who wants to do that again?

For a FREE waterproofing quote, call or e-mail us today!

We service the Michigan area, including Midland, Madison Heights, Clio, Gaylord, Adrian, Mt. Pleasant, Lexington, Bay City, Midland, St. Clair Shores and nearby.

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

4 years of interest free financing
Serving MI including the Greater Ann Arbor area
Our Michigan Service Area
Cities in Alcona County, MI
Barton City
Black River
Curran
Glennie
Greenbush
Harrisville
Lincoln
Mikado
Spruce

Cities in Alpena County, MI
Alpena
Herron
Hubbard Lake
Lachine
Ossineke

Cities in Antrim County, MI
Alba
Alden
Bellaire
Central Lake
Eastport
Elk Rapids
Ellsworth
Kewadin
Mancelona

Cities in Arenac County, MI
Alger
Au Gres
Omer
Standish
Sterling
Turner
Twining

Cities in Bay County, MI
Auburn
Bay City
Essexville
Kawkawlin
Linwood
Munger
Pinconning
University Center

Cities in Benzie County, MI
Benzonia
Beulah
Elberta
Frankfort
Honor
Lake Ann
Thompsonville

Cities in Charlevoix County, MI
Bay Shore
Beaver Island
Boyne City
Boyne Falls
Charlevoix
East Jordan
Walloon Lake

Cities in Cheboygan County, MI
Afton
Burt Lake
Cheboygan
Indian River
Mackinaw City
Mullett Lake
Topinabee
Tower
Wolverine

Cities in Clare County, MI
Farwell
Harrison
Lake
Lake George

Cities in Clinton County, MI
Elsie
Ovid

Cities in Crawford County, MI
Frederic
Grayling

Cities in Emmet County, MI
Alanson
Brutus
Carp Lake
Conway
Cross Village
Good Hart
Harbor Springs
Levering
Oden
Pellston
Petoskey

Cities in Genesee County, MI
Burton
Clio
Davison
Fenton
Flint
Flushing
Gaines
Goodrich
Grand Blanc
Lennon
Linden
Montrose
Mount Morris
Otisville
Swartz Creek

Cities in Gladwin County, MI
Beaverton
Gladwin
Rhodes

Cities in Grand Traverse County, MI
Acme
Grawn
Interlochen
Kingsley
Mayfield
Old Mission
Traverse City
Williamsburg

Cities in Gratiot County, MI
Ashley
Bannister
Breckenridge
Ithaca
Saint Louis
Wheeler

Cities in Huron County, MI
Bad Axe
Bay Port
Caseville
Elkton
Filion
Harbor Beach
Kinde
Owendale
Pigeon
Port Austin
Port Hope
Ruth
Sebewaing
Ubly

Cities in Ingham County, MI
Dansville
Leslie
Stockbridge
Webberville
Williamston

Cities in Iosco County, MI
East Tawas
Hale
Long Lake
National City
Oscoda
Tawas City
Whittemore

Cities in Isabella County, MI
Mount Pleasant

Cities in Jackson County, MI
Brooklyn
Clarklake
Grass Lake
Jackson
Michigan Center
Munith
Pleasant Lake
Rives Junction

Cities in Kalkaska County, MI
Fife Lake
Kalkaska
Rapid City
South Boardman

Cities in Lake County, MI
Chase
Idlewild
Irons
Luther

Cities in Lapeer County, MI
Almont
Attica
Clifford
Columbiaville
Dryden
Imlay City
Lapeer
Metamora
North Branch
Otter Lake
Silverwood

Cities in Leelanau County, MI
Cedar
Empire
Glen Arbor
Lake Leelanau
Leland
Maple City
Northport
Omena
Suttons Bay

Cities in Lenawee County, MI
Addison
Adrian
Blissfield
Britton
Cement City
Clayton
Clinton
Deerfield
Hudson
Jasper
Manitou Beach
Morenci
Onsted
Palmyra
Riga
Sand Creek
Tecumseh
Tipton

Cities in Livingston County, MI
Brighton
Fowlerville
Gregory
Hamburg
Hartland
Howell
Pinckney

Cities in Macomb County, MI
Armada
Center Line
Clinton Township
Eastpointe
Fraser
Harrison Township
Macomb
Mount Clemens
New Baltimore
New Haven
Ray
Richmond
Romeo
Roseville
Saint Clair Shores
Sterling Heights
Utica
Warren
Washington

Cities in Manistee County, MI
Arcadia
Bear Lake
Brethren
Copemish
Eastlake
Filer City
Kaleva
Manistee
Onekama
Wellston

Cities in Mason County, MI
Branch
Fountain
Free Soil
Ludington
Walhalla

Cities in Midland County, MI
Coleman
Hope
Midland
Sanford

Cities in Missaukee County, MI
Falmouth
Lake City
Mc Bain
Merritt

Cities in Monroe County, MI
Carleton
Dundee
Erie
Ida
La Salle
Lambertville
Luna Pier
Maybee
Milan
Monroe
Newport
Ottawa Lake
Petersburg
South Rockwood
Temperance

Cities in Montmorency County, MI
Atlanta
Hillman
Lewiston

Cities in Oakland County, MI
Auburn Hills
Berkley
Birmingham
Bloomfield Hills
Clarkston
Clawson
Commerce Township
Davisburg
Farmington
Ferndale
Franklin
Hazel Park
Highland
Holly
Huntington Woods
Keego Harbor
Lake Orion
Leonard
Madison Heights
Milford
New Hudson
Novi
Oak Park
Oakland
Ortonville
Oxford
Pleasant Ridge
Pontiac
Rochester
Royal Oak
South Lyon
Southfield
Troy
Walled Lake
Waterford
West Bloomfield
White Lake
Wixom

Cities in Ogemaw County, MI
Lupton
Prescott
Rose City
South Branch
West Branch

Cities in Osceola County, MI
Evart
Hersey
Leroy
Marion
Sears
Tustin

Cities in Oscoda County, MI
Comins
Fairview
Luzerne
Mio

Cities in Otsego County, MI
Elmira
Gaylord
Johannesburg
Vanderbilt
Waters

Cities in Presque Isle County, MI
Hawks
Millersburg
Onaway
Posen
Presque Isle
Rogers City

Cities in Roscommon County, MI
Higgins Lake
Houghton Lake
Houghton Lake Heights
Prudenville
Roscommon
Saint Helen

Cities in Saginaw County, MI
Birch Run
Brant
Bridgeport
Burt
Chesaning
Frankenmuth
Freeland
Hemlock
Merrill
Oakley
Saginaw
Saint Charles

Cities in Saint Clair County, MI
Algonac
Allenton
Avoca
Capac
Casco
Columbus
East China
Emmett
Fair Haven
Fort Gratiot
Goodells
Harsens Island
Jeddo
Marine City
Marysville
Memphis
North Street
Port Huron
Saint Clair
Smiths Creek
Yale

Cities in Sanilac County, MI
Applegate
Brown City
Carsonville
Croswell
Decker
Deckerville
Lexington
Marlette
Melvin
Minden City
Palms
Peck
Port Sanilac
Sandusky
Snover

Cities in Shiawassee County, MI
Bancroft
Byron
Corunna
Durand
Henderson
Laingsburg
Morrice
New Lothrop
Owosso
Perry
Vernon

Cities in Tuscola County, MI
Akron
Caro
Cass City
Deford
Fairgrove
Fostoria
Gagetown
Kingston
Mayville
Millington
Reese
Unionville
Vassar

Cities in Washtenaw County, MI
Ann Arbor
Chelsea
Dexter
Manchester
Saline
Whitmore Lake
Willis
Ypsilanti

Cities in Wayne County, MI
Allen Park
Belleville
Canton
Dearborn
Dearborn Heights
Detroit
Ecorse
Flat Rock
Garden City
Grosse Ile
Grosse Pointe
Hamtramck
Harper Woods
Highland Park
Inkster
Lincoln Park
Livonia
Melvindale
New Boston
Northville
Plymouth
Redford
River Rouge
Riverview
Rockwood
Romulus
Southgate
Taylor
Trenton
Wayne
Westland
Wyandotte

Cities in Wexford County, MI
Boon
Buckley
Cadillac
Harrietta
Manton
Mesick

Please call us at: 1-877-379-6424