When to Use a French Drain
By Adriana A Noton
For many homeowners, businesses, and builders, issues with property flooding can be a serious problem. French drains have been used as a water drainage system since 1859. This is a trench lined with rock or gravel that redirects groundwater and surface water away from an area. The pipes of this drain are normally made from PVC. A French drain can have perforated hollow pipes along the bottom which rapidly expels the water that leaches through the upper rock or gravel. Filtration fabric is placed on top of the pipe to keep debris from blocking the holes. An installed drain has a slope to help with drainage. The drainage process works on the law of gravity. That is, water is carried from a high elevation to a lower elevation.
French drains are primarily used to prevent ground and surface water from seeping into building foundations, however, are many reasons why people will install one to redirect surface and ground water. These drains are often used to remove excess water from low areas, or extremely wet areas of the property. This type of area is often located in the back of a home, at the foot of a slope, and in places where too much run-off is directed to a property area.
A French drain is used for drainage in gardening. For a garden, this drain redirects ground water run-off to a garden irrigation system. As well, this drain is often used to protect the foundation of a home or other structure such as a storage building or garage. It will to keep excess ground or surface water from flooding the structure.
These have been used to drain water away from a septic tank and it has been used as a back up for a retaining wall by providing ground water pressure relief. As well, it is often placed along property lines between two adjoining lots. The drain will carry the water from the higher area to a lower area as it flows through the pipe.
By installing a drain, you have the ability to select where the water will flow. Compared to other drainage systems, French drains are quite inexpensive. They are also quite easy to install. To make sure you install it properly, it may be a wise to hire a professional, particularly if you are not sure if you have the knowledge to properly perform the installation.
When you install a French drain, it will collect the groundwater and redirect the water to a lower area of land of your choosing. The most effective French drain design is a design that permits the water to flow freely from the trench to the surface of the property area. French drain installation is a very affordable and easy method of diverting groundwater and surface water from an area that can flood and cause damage to property. If you are having problems with water excess and flooding, a French drain may be the solution for you.
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