You may know it by one of its many other names: French ditch, or perimeter, land, rock, rubble, or blind drain. Whatever you call it, a French drain serves a simple purpose: to collect water and direct it away from your home or other structure such as a garage, guest house or building. If you are facing recurrent drainage issues on your property, you may need a French drain to effectively remove that excess water and get it away from your foundation. Avoiding damage to your property, particularly your foundation and basement, is the main purpose of a French drain. By association, it can also help prevent erosion and other problems that can spell disaster for your home down the line.
In essence, a French drain is a pipe inserted into the ground to collect rain water. Often used for yards and basements that suffer ongoing drainage problems, they have the ability to transport excess water to low-lying areas where that moisture can do the least damage. The pipe itself is wide, perforated with holes, angling downward under the ground where gravity can help with most of the work. On top of the pipe is gravel, which allows for better flow of water than dense soil.
Interesting side note: the name didn’t come from the country; rather, it was named after Henry French, a judge and farmer in Concord, Massachusetts, who talked about his revolutionary idea in an 1859 book about farm drainage, says HouseLogic.
Wondering if you’re a good candidate for drainage system installation? You should consider having one installed if you:
Putting a French drain in the yard could solve your problems. A qualified contractor can place your French drain in one of two places: either on the outside of your home or on the inside. However, you don’t see too many of the indoor types here in California, as they must be installed in a basement and few homes have those. In addition, French drains can also draw water from retaining walls.
So why should you consider a French drain over other drainage options like gutters and downspouts? French drains feature many benefits, including:
While they certainly have many over-riding benefits, French drains aren’t without their drawbacks, including:
So, you’ve made the decision to install a French drain in your yard. Now what? First, you place a call to CXC Contracting to schedule your free inspection. Never attempt this project as a DIY. Just look at the dangers above and you’ll be reminded why it’s imperative for someone skilled in French drain installation to tackle this.
We will visit your property, inspect the problem, and suggest an exact path for the drain. Placement will need to be at the point where it will carry away the most amount of water, all while avoiding exterior water pipes and sewer channels. Generally, a good exit point for a French drain is in a sunny, low-lying area, directed away from any neighboring properties.
Will and his company did an outstanding job retrofitting my 6 apartment buildings. I had several other companies bid this project but was won over by his knowledge and honesty. He listened to what i was concerned about, assured me he would he take care of everything and did everything he said he was going to do…and then some. I highly recommend him.
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