Installing a drainage system is not a do-it-yourself job

Dear Glenn: My 80-year-old summer home is under water. It is very near the St. Clair River (in Marine City) and the water table is high. This is a year-round problem. The gravel road in front has been built up over the past 20 years and my crawl space and backyard are flooded. I intend to install a sump pump in the crawl and maybe a French drain around the perimeter. Do you suggest using any piping for the French drain or should I stick with the “gravel and cloth” method only? Could you give me some potential pitfalls? Should I gravel these trenches of plastic tubing? And what about a collection basin for the sump pump, any specific types, how deep? Jim, Marine City Dear Jim: My first suggestion would be to move the cottage to higher ground. To answer some of your questions: You definitely need a sump pump. The crawl space probably also needs to be heated and an entire drainage system installed. This is not a do-it-yourself project. Call a professional. Insta-Dry Waterproofing, (800) 356-0820,, has a patented system. SAS Waterproofing, (800) 894-5115, www.sasbasement, might use different methods to drain away the water.

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