What is a terra cotta drain?
Until the 1960s, terracotta French drains were installed. The principle was fairly crude but still worked for several years. It consisted of 12-inch long tiles laid by hand, one next to the other, leaving a space between each one. The terracotta drain was then covered with crushed stone and the water found its way into it. Most of these drains now need to be replaced because they are often not covered with a large enough stone bed and do not have a system to prevent roots or soil from penetrating. Thousands of homes in Quebec have this drainage system around their foundations and these homeowners realize that the system is failing the day they open the walls in the basement and notice the presence of mold and efflorescence.
We offer the service of inspection of these drains. Often, to get a clear view of a Terra Cota drain, we have to dig to access it since these drains are connected by gravity to the sewer and have no access from the inside. However, it is difficult to inspect this type of drain since over time they have often shifted or collapsed.
Why and when to have a terracotta drain replaced?
First, a terra cotta french drain can be cleaned. Some contractors offer cleaning and maintenance solutions to try to extend the life of this type of drain. However, it is important to understand that a drainage system does not depend solely on the proper function of the French drain. The French drain works in conjunction with the waterproofing of the foundation. The French drain will control the water table in the soil while the foundation waterproofing will prevent water from penetrating through the foundation.
Once the water has already made its way through the foundation, it will be easier and easier for it to re-enter. Cleaning the terracotta drain will not solve the problem of water infiltration from surface water runoff. In addition, a terracotta drain has usually been attacked by roots which means that it no longer has a good stone bed around it to encourage water to flow into it.
If water has seeped into the basement, it is not worth investing thousands to save that old drain. It will have to be replaced by a new French drain according to the techniques of the day and we will have to waterproof the foundation with the product and the technique chosen by the owner.
A non-functional or obsolete french drain such as a terracotta drain can cause water infiltration, efflorescence and mold proliferation. It is important to call one of our specialists as soon as the first signs appear (humidity in the basement, white powder on the floor or walls, earthy smell, water infiltration…). We will be able to perform tests to determine the exact cause of the problem and recommend the appropriate corrective measures.
Have a terracotta french drain inspected or replaced
For over 15 years, Lesage Excavation has been providing French drain installation and repair services. Winner of the 2020 and 2021 Consumer’s Choice Award in the foundation repair category, our expertise and customer service are recognized throughout the Greater Montreal area.
We are available 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.
You have 3 ways to contact us:
- Call us at (514) 219-0125
- Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Submit your project online here
We mainly serve the Montérégie, the Greater Montreal, the South Shore, a part of the North Shore as well as Ontario; and more specifically
Vaudreuil-Dorion – Montreal – Laval – Longueuil – Brossard – Candiac – Salaberry de Valleyfield – North Lancaster – South Glengarry – Alexandria – Hawkesbury – Rigaud – Hudson – Pincourt – Notre-Dame-De-L’ile-Perrot – Lachute – Montebello
We can also travel to more remote areas when the project is complex and the owner cannot find a certified contractor in his area.