What Are French Drains? How it Works?

 What Are French Drains? How it Works?

Water always looks for the easiest way to move downwards. The French drain system uses this concept. It includes a slightly sloped trench full of round gravel and pipe, which deters the water flow away from home. The name French drain system is not associated with the country but is got from a Massachusetts farmer and Judge Henry French, who promoted this concept in his book regarding farm drainage in 1859.

How does the French drain system work?

The system offers an easy route for flowing water, which runs into a trench full of gravel and then into perforated pipes at the trench bottom. Ultimately, empties at a safe distance from your home foundation. Trench bottom has a slope of 1” for every 8 feet in the direction you desire to allow water flow. Water can be averted to –

  • A drainage ditch
  • The Street
  • A low-lying region on your property
  • A dry well

If you are suffering from water entering the basement or struggling with a soggy lawn look for contractors offering French drains in Oklahoma CityBills Custom Concrete is reputed in OKC and has been serving the local community since 1976.

If you are struggling with –

  • Water getting inside your basement

Install deep French drains [footing drain]. It runs around the perimeter of the house at the footing level. It helps to intercept water before it gets a chance to enter the basement. If sufficient slope is not available for proper drain system working then collect water in a basin installed within the basement and use a sump pump to lift and transport it to the storm drain system.

  • Surface water

Install shallow French drains [Curtain drains]. It extends horizontally through the property, directly uphill to an area you desire to keep dry. It intercepts the water and averts it around soggy spots. Drain system passing across shrubs or trees will need solid pipe and not perforated to reduce the possibility of growing roots penetrating the pipes and clogging it.

  • Retaining wall damage

Water moving downhill gets accumulated behind the wall damaging its integrity. Add a French drain system behind the first course of blocks or stones. Allow the pipe to rest on concrete footing or gravel base supporting the wall. Drape the footing base with landscape cloth, to protect the drain from silt clogging. Up the drain slope before adding drain gravel and pipe. Close to the wall, fold the cloth over the gravel top and add a few inches of soil.

Donna Paul

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