Standing water, or water that is draining into your home or basement area, can present a major issue; one that must be promptly addressed. Among homeowners, one of the most popular options to deal with such a problem is the installation of a French drain.
French drains are among the best water management solutions anyone could install. These sturdy additions are designed to work in tandem with water’s natural downhill flow, thus helping property owners tackle the many risks of not mitigating water damage.
What Is a French Drain?
It sounds elegant but in reality, it’s nothing more sophisticated than a gravel-lined ditch with an embedded pipe that carries water away from the home.
Whereas gutters collect precipitation as it runs off the roof, French drains manage water at ground level. Let’s say that after a rainstorm, water tends to pool in a particular low spot on your property. Rerouting the flow of water with a French drain would alleviate that problem.
A French drain also provides a solution for basements that admit water through the foundation. In these “wet” basements, water presses against the foundation and gradually leaks through. With a French drain, however, water near the foundation can be rerouted and deposited elsewhere.
If water continues to invade your basement despite seemingly adequate outdoor drainage, then you might need to install a French drain indoors. Installation involves cutting a trench in the basement slab along the perimeter of the foundation, laying pipe in the trench, and putting in a sump pump to move water from the interior to the exterior.
5 Benefits of Installing a French Drain
1. You Create a Stronger Foundation
Water can wreak havoc in multiple ways, both in and around a building’s foundation. Excess water can weaken or displace surrounding soil or seep directly through foundation cracks to compromise structural integrity. French drains help redirect water away from foundations to prevent this from happening.
2. French Drains Are Tough
These designs have to be more durable than some other drainage options due to their subsurface operation. Their underground design means French drains are subject to hydrostatic pressure, which is exerted by water through force of gravity. The more durable a drain is, then, the more reliably it will perform.
3. Practical Power Meets Aesthetics
French drains get the job done without turning your property into an eyesore. The notion of digging a ditch may cause some apprehension, but once the drain is complete, it can be an eye-catching surface addition that does all its dirty work under the surface. Gravel comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors that can blend beautifully with the surrounding space.
4. Ease of Installation
French drains are among some of the quickest and most economical drainage solutions. This is especially true if their installation doesn’t require disturbing any existing exterior structures.
5. You Can Decide Where the Water Goes
These designs give residential and commercial customers the choice of where redirected water ends up (within zoning regulations, of course). Builders can lay pipes to deposit water into a drainage ditch, for example, or perhaps into the street or a lower-lying area on the property.
A good drainage team will make sure you enjoy all the benefits of French drain installation and none of the drawbacks. Going it alone or taking just any contractor’s claims at face value can have the opposite effect and leave you with even more problems.
Preparations Before Installing a French Drain
Before a French drain can be installed, the exact path for the drain must be planned. The drain must run through the areas where water is the most problematic while avoiding exterior water pipes and sewer channels. The exit point of the French drain should be a sunny, low-lying area. The exit should be directed away from any neighboring properties to avoid flooding someone else’s property.
Contact an Expert With Any Drainage Questions
French drains can help protect properties large or small, residential or commercial. They can also become money pits and danger zones if they’re not properly designed and laid.
The basement waterproofing pros at Dry Master have over 30 years of experience that lets us engineer the best drainage solution for your needs. This may be a French drain or any of several other designs we can build on schedule and on budget. Contact our team today to speak with an expert.