A French drain is a trench that contains a perforated pipe; it is filled with gravel and is usually slightly sloped to drain water away from the house. French drains are installed to get rid of water that is accumulating underneath the surface. They are ideal for use in boggy or marshy areas that have poor drainage or to collect water that has accumulated over time through watering and storms.
How French Drains Work
A French drain provides an easy passage for water to flow through. Accumulated water passes into the gravel filled drain and then into the perforate pipe at the base of the trench. Water passes safely through the perforated pipe before emptying in a safe distance away from your house. For smooth water drainage, the bottom of the trench needs to be slightly sloped in the direction you want the drained water to flow. You can divert the water into a dry well, street, low lying surface, drainage ditch etc., depending on your situation.
You might need to install a French drain when your building is holding water on a hillside, when water is getting into the basement or if you have a problem with surface water
French Drain Repairs and Maintenance
A French drain can remain in great condition for over 10 years after installation; however it is prone to clogging, leading to flooding in the basement or on your property. The gravel can make their way to the drain, leading to clogging. French drain repairs and maintenance can help unclog the drain and stop water accumulation in your basement or property. Listed below are the top 5 ways to repair and maintain your French drain
- Finding out where the water should drain to when a French drain is backing up -Sometimes French drains can back up due to issues at the downspout. Look at the area where the drained water is supposed to flow and remove any sludge so water can flow smoothly.
- Excavating the drain to check for problems- Sometimes the problem may be in the drain. Excavate the drain and remove the gravel to check for debris, soil or other build up.
- Ensure that the depth is enough- The French drain should always be located underneath the bottom of the property it’s supposed to protect. In addition, the downspout should be located at the bottom of the gutter.
- Unclogging the pipe- Even a properly placed drainpipe will fill up with debris eventually after years of use. Clean and clear out the clog to avoid future drainage problems.
- Placing a landscaping cloth- If the drain is outside your house, you might want to place a landscape cloth below the dirt or gravel to keep dirt and debris away from the pipe. Always check to ensure that the cloth is in place. If the French drain is inside your house, a cloth may not be necessary.
If you are having problems with your French drain, then getting professional help to repair or maintain the drain can help catch problems early and repair them before they become too serious. Professionals have the skills and know what to do to solve any problem to ensure that the French drain works as it’s supposed to.