Where I live, we have several months out of the year that are packed with devastating storms. These storms have been known to damage entire communities and leave many people's lives turned upside-down. During the days and weeks following these storms, we pull together as a community to help each other rebuild and repair the homes we live in. We have worked alongside some of the best damage contractors in the country. This blog contains a ton of information about the things that we have learned from those contractors during these devastating times each and every year through the worst possible storms.
Residential drainage systems come in various styles, and many homes include more than a single option. One common choice for subsurface drainage is a French drain system. French drains use perforated pipes installed in relatively shallow trenches to collect water and channel it away from your foundation or other vulnerable areas of your property.
Using a French drain can come with many advantages, but it's not the best choice for every home. Deciding if this drainage system will work for you requires a thorough understanding of how they function and how contractors install them. This knowledge can help you decide if one of these drainage systems can solve your home's water issues.
The Essential Elements of French Drain Installation
Installing a French drain can be an expensive process, but it's not a complicated one. Contractors install these systems by digging a trench and installing a drainage pipe, which they then cover with gravel and backfill with soil. French drains remove water by channeling it away from your home, which means they must slope downwards to be effective.
The need for a slope has several consequences worth considering. If you're installing a French drain to protect a large area or channel to a distant site, you may need a deep trench to accommodate the proper slope. Likewise, you may need to consider a much deeper trench when dealing with a flat yard or one that slopes towards your home.
The Primary Uses of French Drains
Most residential French drains act as either protective barriers or water channels. For protective purposes, you usually install your drain trench around your foundation. When water seeps into the ground near your basement, the French drain pipe intercepts it and channels it away. These drains typically need to be installed relatively deeply to remain effective.
French drains can also work to move water away from an area with a severe drainage problem, such as a low spot on your lawn that typically floods. When used in this way, you can usually install a shallower system that follows the natural slope to a more suitable drainage location. French drains can be highly effective in this role and may be cheaper than altering the slope of your landscape.
Is a French Drain Right for You?
Although they are an effective drain option, French drains typically require extensive excavation. Installing one when building a new home can provide significant protection for your basement, but other options may be more suitable when modifying an existing home. On the other hand, they can be an excellent option if you need to deal with drainage issues elsewhere on your property.
Since water damage can be so costly, it's essential to choose a system that will thoroughly and permanently solve any drainage issues you are experiencing. An experienced and qualified contractor can help you select a system that will work for your home and budget, or provide you with more info about individual systems.