6 Quick Tips for French Drains

Landscape-nature-sunset-treesYour house and lawn are your pride and joy.

On your days off from work, your time is spent mowing, pruning and watering your yard. You’re also painting, repairing and cleaning your house.

Unfortunately, even with your best efforts, parts of your lawn appear soggy, muddy, and just plain unattractive. This makes your yard look like you didn’t spend any time working on it.

Then there is the ongoing issue with your basement. When there is a hard downpour of rain, water finds its way through the concrete onto your basement floor or drips down the walls.

Is there anything that you can do other than re-grading your lawn or re-digging your basement to help these common household problems?

The answer is yes! French drains can help for both issues.

Tip #1-For Your Basement, Outside

French drains can be installed around the outside perimeter of your house to keep water from seeping into your basement.

According to Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford, “A French drain around the perimeter of your house would be a great, inexpensive way to divert water runoff without having to regrade the entire yard.”

This type of drainage system is called a deep French drain, also known as a Footing drain.

Drainage pipes are laid around the outside of your home at the “footing” level, below ground level, in trenches dug around the base of your house. Any ground water runoff caused by such things as rain or watering the lawn goes into the drainage system before it can enter your basement, and is diverted away from your house.

Perimeter French drain systems can be installed anytime, either during or after your house is built. Although, if possible, having the system installed when your house is being built can save you both time and money. 

Tip #2-For Your Basement, Inside

French drains can also be installed inside your house, in the perimeter of your basement. This type of drainage system will catch any water seepage before it becomes a puddle in your basement.

The interior French drain is installed in a channel cut in the perimeter of your basement floor where the concrete has been chipped out. Perforated pipe is laid in this channel. Water drips into these pipes and then goes into a collection tank in the cement floor. A sump pump forces this collected water out of your house.

To save time and money, this type of French drain is better suited to have installed when your house is built. Although a more complicated project, this type of drainage system can also be installed in your basement at any time after your house has been built.

Tip #3-For Your Yard

French drains can also be installed in your yard to divert water away from soggy areas of your lawn.

This type of drainage system is also known as a Curtain Drain. It’s generally installed so that the pipe is sloped one inch for every eight feet in the direction you want the water to flow.

This will divert any water that may pool in that area to a lower lying area of your yard where water doesn’t pool. Other places the water may be diverted to include a drainage ditch, a dry well, or if local ordinances allow, you can divert the water flow to the street.

Tip #4-For Your Driveway

Another use for French drains is to divert water away from your driveway. If during heavy rains your driveway gets inundated with water and gets “washed-out,” a French drain can lessen or eradicate the problem.

This type of drainage system works by collecting the water before it enters your driveway and diverts the water to other areas of your yard, or possibly the street.

Tip #5-For Your Retaining Walls

A French drain installed behind a retaining wall can divert water runoff around the wall.

Installing a drainage system in or in back of a retaining wall will keep water from flowing under the wall and causing erosion problems. Erosion of the building materials can create cracks and weak spots in the wall, which can cause parts or all of the wall to crumble or collapse.

Tip #6-Professional Installation

Although it’s possible to do these projects yourself, it would be for the best to have any type of drainage system installed by professional landscapers. For the well-informed homeowner, a French drain can be a DIY project, but do you want to do all that hard work and not be absolutely sure you did it properly?

Hiring a trained professional will save you both time and money. You invested a lot of money in buying and maintaining your home, so it only makes sense to have a trained landscaper do the hard work of installing any drainage systems for your yard and basement.

Professional landscapers such as Le Perv Landscape in San Diego, California, can ensure your French drains are installed properly and with the highest quality materials.

These professionals will be able to get the job done quickly and efficiently with the most up-to-date equipment and training. Not only will this give you a beautiful-looking lawn and a dry basement, but you will also have peace of mind that the job was done correctly.

Clarke Ramsey
Landscape Artist. I help landscaping dreams come to live. I create raving fans and give my customers the highest quality product available.
Clarke Ramsey
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