What to Know About French Drain Systems

Water can be damaging if left unattended under the foundation of your home. If your foundation has ever suffered water damage, if you've noticed dampness in your basement, or if you've experienced any other issues with draining rainwater (or rather rainwater that just won't drain!), the best and most efficient solution is a French drain system. Read on to learn more about what exactly a French drain is, how it works, and when you should consider installing one to combat your drainage issues.

What is a French drain system?

As sophisticated as a 'French drain' may sound, in reality, it's a simple ditch lined with gravel in which a pipe is embedded for carrying the water away from your home.

While your gutter system manages the water drainage on the roof of your home, a French drainage system manages the water drainage at your home's ground level. For instance, if water tends to pool in a low spot of your home, rerouting this water using a French drain can resolve the issue.

French drains are also particularly ideal for homes with basements, because as water continues to press against your foundation, it can eventually start leaking directly into your basement. This drain system will reroute the flow of water in a different direction, keeping your basement safe and dry.

How does a French drain system work?

French drain system provides an easy route for the water to pass through. The system includes a gravel-filled ditch or trench that has a perforated pipe at its bottom. The water will be carried away from your house safely in this pipe and emptied at an appropriate distance away to avoid damage to your home.

The bottom of the ditch is sloped in the direction of the water flow. The French drain system can be used to divert water into one of the following:

  • Drainage ditch 
  • Street or a dry well
  • The lowest area of your property
  • The street

When do you need a French drain system?

Wondering if you might need a French drain system? If you have a wet basement or a flat and soggy yard, then yes, you can benefit from this type of system. If you've noticed water pooling and you're worried about water damage on the ground level of your home, we recommend that you contact a local contractor to discuss having one installed. 

Installation of a French drain

As previously mentioned, a French drain is used for correcting quite a few water drainage issues. Installing a shallow drain can be used in your lawn to divert the surface water that collects and leaves you with a yard that more closely resembles a swamp. 

If you wish to prevent water damage to your home's foundation, you'll need to install a deep drain. A drain installed near the foundation will divert the water and keep it from traveling to your concrete walls.

If you need any help with the French drain system in Chicago and the surrounding areas, your friends at SmardBuild are your go-to contractor with exceptional services and reviews.


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