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Old 04-05-2010, 04:01 PM   #16
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Do I need to remove Styrofoam from the french drain?


The purpose of a French drain is to get the water to drain into the hole (sump) fast enough.

Many times the house is built with sand or gravel underneath that is good enough to let so much water get over to the sump but then comes a 100 year storm and the water table goes way up and the the water under the far side of the basement seeps up into the basement before it can seep through the sand all the way over to the sump.

Then someone recommends putting in a French drain (that wasn't put in before).

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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-05-2010 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:05 PM   #17
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Do I need to remove Styrofoam from the french drain?


If you review the original house paperwork, there should be some mention if a french drain system was installed. To have the trenches and no sump pump seems odd. If water did indeed come down the walls and over the styrofoam there would be water marks on the concrete long after the rains stopped.
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Old 04-05-2010, 05:10 PM   #18
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Do I need to remove Styrofoam from the french drain?


Allen, I think you are right, because the water is coming in for the most part from the far end of the house's basement. I don't think it is draining quick enough through the dirt/sand into the sump hole. Because like you say this is a maybe not 1 in 100 years, but it is at least 1 in 7 or maybe even 1 in 10 years of storm and rain (and on top of that snow also). Before this happened the rain had no bad effect at all on the water in the basement because there was none. The sump hole was bone dry for at least 7 years!
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:08 PM   #19
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Do I need to remove Styrofoam from the french drain?


fergawdsake, no one leaves styrofoam on purpose - they were either forgetful or ignorant,,, its purpose was as a blockout for the slot which'd allow wtr to flow to the sump,,, PULL IT & keep the slot clean w/your wet/dry vac ! ! !
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:45 PM   #20
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Do I need to remove Styrofoam from the french drain?


Quote:
fergawdsake, no one leaves styrofoam on purpose - they were either forgetful or ignorant,,, its purpose was as a blockout for the slot which'd allow wtr to flow to the sump,,, PULL IT & keep the slot clean w/your wet/dry vac ! ! !
haha.... already done!!!! (just hope this doesn't allow bugs to get in my house)
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:25 AM   #21
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Do I need to remove Styrofoam from the french drain?


good for you - now add slot inspection/vacuuming to your ' honey-dew ' list,,, just part of home ownership
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:51 PM   #22
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Do I need to remove Styrofoam from the french drain?


Hmmm ... Come to think of it, the slot around the perimeter can work as a French drain. It's carrying capacity would be limited since it is only about 3/4 inch wide by 3 inches deep and water flowing through would suffer considerable friction against the "walls".

There would have to be a hole or channel from the perimeter slot to the sump otherwise the water, once it made its way all the way around the house and to the sump, will tend to stay in the slot and perhaps soak into the ground anywhere along the slot where the ground is not already saturated.

For an average sized house the slot would hold something like 12 gallons without overflowing onto the floor.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:44 AM   #23
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Do I need to remove Styrofoam from the french drain?


Hi,
I just finished removing the foam from my french drains to help the water seeping through the walls get over to the sump.
After I finished I realized that maybe this was not a good idea and maybe the foam was there for a reason.
Sure enough it was installed for a Radon system. The foam in the french drains creates a vacuum for the fan that is piped up under the slab.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:00 PM   #24
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Do I need to remove Styrofoam from the french drain?


How about that - I just assumed that someone confused a "french" drain with a "trench" drain that is a cheap Eastern method of collection of water that already leaked in when the real construction was sub-standard or expected to be sub-standard.

If it was filled with foam, removing it will void your guarantee if the installer is still in business.

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