Answers To Your Questions About French Drains

25 March 2020
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Drainage problems around your home can be a major issue. Poor drainage can cause landscaping damage, lead to foundation problems, or result in water leaching into the home. A french drain is a solution that may solve these issues. The following can help you better understand what a french drain is and how it can help.

What is a french drain?

A french drain consists of three parts. The first part is the drainage trench, which is placed in the area that needs drainage -- for example, around the perimeter of your foundation. The second part is the drainage pipe, which is a plastic perforated pipe that allows water to seep in from the surrounding soil. The third part of the system is gravel, which is placed on top of and around the pipe so that water can easily flow into the drainage trench. When it rains or the water table is high, the excess moisture percolates through the gravel and into the pipe, where it is then safely routed to the nearest storm drain system.

Which drainage problems can a french drain address?

French drains are most commonly used around the foundation of homes where water is leaching through the foundation and into the basement, but you can also install them in any area where water tends to pool and saturate the top layers of the ground. French drains are also sometimes installed next to or even beneath paved areas, like driveways, so that water can be routed away so it doesn't wash out the paving. French drains are not typically installed inside a basement, but only in exterior areas where water can be routed away from buildings and other affected places, such as sidewalks and driveways.

Will installation be invasive?

Installation requires little more than a trench, which will require removing and digging up some of your landscaping. Fortunately, most installers are skilled at removing the sod in a manner that allows them to replace it after installation, so damages are not long-lasting. In certain cases, it may not be advisable to landscape over the gravel covering the drainpipe, so you may need to work the graveled area into your landscaping plan. Further, drain that pass beneath paving will typically require that the paving is broken up for the installation and then reinstalled -- with an incorporated drain -- afterward.

For more information, reach out to a french drain contractor for help.