Originally Posted By: roconnor
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Dennis … concerning your question about the code provisions, the International Residential Code (IRC) does require dampproofing/waterproofing for new construction with useable space below grade (IRC 406), and foundation drainage is also required for poor draining soils/backfill (IRC 405).
The use of typical foundation drains to keep a basement dry is questionable to me, but it's in the code and many consider this to be good construction practice. For existing homes there is no viable way to evaluate the effectiveness of these drains ... they could be working fine (although that's not usually the case) and the basement still leaks due to other problems.
As pointed out by others it's better to looks for signs of water penetration ... and look for conditions that would indicate the potential for that which includes poor grading, missing gutters, missing splash pads, clogged drywells, cracked foundations, and sites with poor draining soils (silt/clay ... but that hard to tell on existing homes).
Just my 2-cents
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
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I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong