As you prepare for the constant snow and ice accumulating and melting cycle of winter, keeping your home and basement dry should be at the top of your list. If you have had issues with drainage or leaking basements in the past, French drains might be the perfect solution for you. Here are some of the ways to know whether or not a French drain is the right choice for your home.
How do French Drains Work?
French drains work by providing water that would otherwise accumulate an easy way to get out. Water runs into a trench filled with gravel to filter out debris that would clog the pipe easily, and then into a perforated pipe at the bottom. Water then travels through the pipe (or pipe system) and away from your home and basement. The slope of the trench bottom should increase about 1 inch in the direction that you want water to flow for every 8 feet you want it to flow.
When Should You Install a French Drain?
Chances are, if you need a French drain you already have an idea based on the drainage on your property. Do you have problems with surface water—a lawn that gets puddles every time it rains or big pools of water naturally standing near your home after a thunderstorm? Is water getting into your basement after a downpour? If your home isn’t suffering from either of those issues but you are planning to build a retaining wall on a hillside around your home, a French drain could also be right for you to prevent water accumulation on either side of the retaining wall.
Surface Water Woes
If your issue is surface water, install a shallow French drain or curtain drain. These will go across your property horizontally, uphill of the area that you want to keep dry. These French drains will get water before it ever gets downhill. Most of these drains are about 2 feet deep and 1.5 feet across.
A Flooded Basement
If your problem is basement flooding, you should install a deep French drain or footing drain. These surround the perimeter of your home and drain off water before it can enter the basement. These are tricky to put in once homes are finished, but it is possible. Plan on spending at least five figures on getting a deep French drain installed on the exterior once you are already in your home and significantly less if you are custom building your home.
Retaining Wall Remedy
If you are building a retaining wall, install a French drain behind the first course of material so that water moving down the hill will not accumulate near the wall. This is the most cost effective way to use a French drain and it will protect your home for years to come.
Aqua Bright Can Help Drain Your Home and Water Your Plants
Whatever the cause of your yard’s drainage woes, the professionals at Aqua Bright can help you come up with a solution. For a consultation and to hear what we can do for you, give us a call at (410) 489-9009 or visit us online. For more information on the many irrigation and illumination services we offer, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Houzz, YouTube, and Pinterest.