Should you install a French drain?
Bonjour! If a little rain is turning your yard into a slippery mess or your basement into a kiddy pool, it's time to consider your options to eliminate the drainage problem. One of those options is a French drain. If you’re not sure what that means, let us tell you.
What is it?
A French drain consists of a trench filled with rock and gravel holding a perforated or knife-slit pipe. Perforated holes gather lots of water quickly without clogging. Holes in the pipe point down so water can drain at any level. A knife-slit pipe is best for groundwater saturation that rises slowly.
The pipe is then covered in a "silt sock" of landscaping fabric that keeps sediment and roots from clogging the pipe. The drain redirects both surface and groundwater away from your home and yard.
The ending or opening is commonly at a downhill slope, dry well, or in dense vegetation where plants can absorb and hold the water. The finished product is seeded for new grass or covered in stone.
Why use them?
French drains are great alternatives to open ditches or storm sewers. They help prevent pooling, mold and water damage around your property. French drains are typically used specifically to prevent water from damaging building foundations. So, they are often buried around the outside of the foundation wall or underneath a basement floor. They can also be used behind retaining walls to relieve ground water pressure.
What’s so French about it?
These drains actually have almost nothing to do with France. Henry French of Massachusetts, popularized them in his famous book Farm Drainage. French's son sculpted the Lincoln Memorial which is surrounded by a French drain system.
Interested in a French drain?
While the system is a simple device, it’s not always simple to install yourself. Many easy mistakes can be made. Consider professional installation that makes use of engineering and heavy equipment to ensure you're following zoning regulations and not doing more harm to your property than good.
Now you have the information to decide if a French drain is right for your property. If it is, you’ve come to the right place. Watch how JC Property Professionals does French drains on our YouTube channel.