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Question DetailsAsked on 5/4/2011

Footing drain replacement

I had some foundation leveling work done earlier this year, and it was raining at the time. The contractor informed me that the water was penetrating the foundation/crawl space area very quickly, and that I probably need to have my foundation footing drain replaced - he told me to find a different contractor as they would be quite expensive for that sort of work. My question: how technical is the digging up and installation of a new footing drain? My gardener has already installed a sprinkler system and new water main line for me, so it seems like having him at least do the initial dig might be a cost effective way of getting the job started. But it seems like the depth/angle of the trench would be important to have the water drain away from the house?

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1 Answer


Hi Yimmy149,

Before you replace the drain, I would check with an exterior drain pipe installation professional to ensure that it does need to be replaced. If it does, digging and installing a new footing drain isn’t overly technical, but it is a hard job and should be done by a qualified professional, probably not you or your gardener.

If you’re not familiar with digging foundation, it might take you three or four times longer than a pro. An unqualified person doing the work could also dig too deep or not deep enough, install the drain tile incorrectly, use the wrong pipes and fittings, install the pipes with the incorrect pitch or elevation and install cleanouts in the wrong locations. Once the trench is dug, you’ll need to dispose of the dirt and backfill the trench with gravel. The foundation will also need to be resealed.

These things take knowledge and experience. What you don’t want to do is have someone unqualified do the work incorrectly and then spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than what you should have to get it fixed. I would recommend getting at least three quotes from a reputable, licensed contractor first. Having the work done right the first time will save you time and money.

Thanks for your question. I hope that helps.

Paul from Angie's List

Answered 9 years ago by Paul from Angie's List

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