The Difference Between Installing Interior and Exterior Foundation Footing Drains

Is your basement feeling clammy? Are you experiencing water damage regularly and aren’t sure how to resolve the problem? Two popular options include installing an Interior Foundation drain system around the perimeter of your basement slab or installing an Exterior Foundation drain system along the outside of your basement walls.

Not sure which is right for you? Here’s what you need to know:

Interior Foundation Footing Drain:

The basics: Interior Foundation drains are water-catchers. They pick up water that seeps inside your basement and the drains channel gravity into a sump pump to send the water back outside or into a drain line.


  1. Interior Foundation drains don’t disturb exterior landscaping.
  2. Your basement is readily accessible through winter.
  3. It costs less than an Exterior Foundation drain installation.


  1. Cutting concrete is messy.
  2. The sump pump won’t function during electrical outages without a battery or generator backup.

Exterior Foundation Footing Drain:

The basics: An exterior footing drain is one of the best solutions for a wet basement, but also one of the most expensive. This requires excavation to expose your home’s foundation walls and footings, but allows the opportunity to apply a waterproof coating to the exterior surface of your walls for extra protection.


  1. Waterproof exterior basement walls.
  2. Removes water before it can enter your basement.
  3. Excavation ensures proper drainage next to your foundation.


  1. Excavation and use of a backhoe will create landscape damage.
  2. More expensive than an Interior foundation footing drain.

EcoClean is a commercial and residential sewer and drain specialist. If you’re looking for more information on sewer or drain lines, including inspection, maintenance, cleaning, or replacement, give EcoClean a call.