How do French Drains work?

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Most of our houses have one thing in common. Apart from roofs and doors, there is one, annoying area that is pretty common. Which is it?

A small patch of land which is always wet. Like a playground for insects, rodents, and other living beings. This small patch is always saturated. And to make it worse, this land also houses stagnant water.

Now you know how annoying and messy that piece of land is.

To solve this, there are many solutions. Different types of drainage systems are present. But, not all of them provide the results you would love. And those that provide results, fail at sustaining it.

We bring you an efficient, yet affordable solution — French Drain.

What is a French Drain?

It is a trench. Or call it a ditch.

This is covered by gravel or other stones. Connected to perforated pipes, this derails the water from stagnating.

This helps in a wet garden or a damp basement. Even during foundation repair, french drains protect the house. It safely directs the excess water away from your property.

How does it work?

French drain starts off from an elevated surface. Water seeps into the ditch. This seeping is eased by the presence of gravel and perforated pipes.

The traditional use of pipe does not absorb water at different sources. They render useless as the lack of flexibility hurts. Water stagnating at different parts cannot seep into the older pipes.

But, in the French drain, perforated pipes ensure every drop of water seeps through. This also ensures the surrounding soil is moisture-laden.

The end of the French drain must be a low-lying area. Streamlining the outlet into the main drainage ditch works effectively.

Benefits of having a French Drain

  • Efficiency

French drains are the most efficient at drainage. The use of perforated pipes and gravel further the seeping of water.

Among the current alternatives, french drain is your best bet.

  • Cost effectiveness

French drain does not require expensive equipment. Even the installation of a french drain is easy and affordable.

  • Flexibility

A French drain does not need a special place to be equipped. It can be installed at any place that is suffering from stagnant water. You can also transform the outer cover of the french drain. The ease of conceal-ability is a major advantage.

  • Ease of installation

Installing a French drain is pretty easy. It also can be installed very quickly. If you know the size of the french drain you require, installing one is a piece of cake.

Now, to the most important question.

How to install a French Drain?

  • Decide on where you want to dig the trench

This is a very important step. Examine the areas in your house which are prone to flooding of water. Now, decide on a route that can streamline the outflow of the excess water. This step, if done correctly, provides the skeleton for the installation of a french drain.

  • Seek approval

If your plan has an outlet that is either connected to a public drainage or a neighbors’ yard, wait. First, seek approval from the concerned individuals for your french drain installation.

  • Ensure the trench has a downward slope

To effectively remove the water out of the french drain, a slope is a no-brainer. If there is a natural slope, check for the consistency till the end of the drain. This must provide a fair idea. If further digging is required, execute the same while digging the trench.

  • Dig the trench

Now, follow the plan and dig the trench. The depth of the trench can vary. But, ensure the slope is maintained. An average of 1 foot slope for 8 foot in length is recommended. This ensures consistency in the slope dimensions. Do not increase the slope angle. As it increases the pace of water outflow, it may cause unwanted erosion at the end of the drain.

  • Line the trench with fabric

Once the trench is dug, line it with non-woven geotextile filter fabric. Alternatives are present. But, note that this fabric must allow water to pass through it. Drive the fabric ends into the ground using a hammer and staple it. Then, drop the perforated pipes onto the trench.

  • Fill the trench

The final step in the installation process. Fill the trench with gravel or crushed granite. Chop the top layer a little to align it with the ground level.

Cut the excess fabric using a knife or similar tool.

Your french drain is ready. Most of your drainage issues will be weeded out now. One profound issue with the use of french drains is the clogging.

Clogging of french drains is common in the rainy seasons. The inflow of mud-mixed water can clog the drain, due to lack of outlet. When mud mixes with water, it turns into a paste-like mixture. This cannot seep through either of the perforated pipes, nor the permeable fabric.

So, let us answer this

How to unclog a french drain?

  • Locate the highest point of the french drain.

This is to assist the mud-mixed water to gush through in a downward slope.

  • Use a garden hose to run water.

If you can see water rising high, rather than flowing down, it is definitely clogged.

  • High Pressure water pump

Use a pressure pump to gush water into the drain. Due to its high pressure, the clog is weakened and ultimately is ejected. Before releasing, spray water to all the corners of the drain.

  • Sewer snake to the rescue

In the case of mulish clogs, use a lengthy pipe to clear it. If any debris is stuck, try and loosen it using the sewer snake. Once you notice it being loosened, use the pressure pump to gush the debris.

The combination of sewer snake and water pump is your best bet.

The pros of having a french drain can be pointless if it is not equipped properly. Avail expert installation and maintenance at affordable rates.

Hire experienced professionals from Guardian Foundation repair. Contact them here and request for a free estimate.


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