French drain systems divert water from where it pools to a place where the water cannot hurt buildings or your landscaping. Often, people install a French drain and let it evacuate water to a part of the landscape that requires extra water. A deeper French drain, or a footing drain, moves a lot of water, while a shallow French drain, also known as a curtain drain, is uphill of the area you want to dry out. The curtain drain stops the water from flowing downhill and forces it away from the soggy spot. Footing drains are suitable for keeping water out of your basement. They are placed at the footing for the basement, so are easier to install while you are building your house, but we can install them after the build is finished.
Interior French drains are another option. We cut a channel in the concrete floor along the basement walls and install a perforated pipe. We cover the pipe with a layer of cement, except for a narrow gap for the water that seeps through your walls to enter the pipe. The pipe directs the water to a collection tank with a sump pump. The water is then pumped outside.
How Does a French Drain Work?
A French drain provides moisture control by channeling water away from a low spot in the ground, your basement or anywhere else you have excess moisture or need waterproofing. While the drain doesn’t waterproof anything, it helps the waterproofing on your basement walls be more effective.
Water flows downhill. If you put a French drain in its way, the drain diverts the water away from your home or the low spot. A French drain is a trench in the ground with a perforated pipe and a layer of gravel. The water goes through the gravel and into the pipe, and is then diverted to where the pipe exits, keeping the low spot dryer. The drain has a slight slope to it to force the water out of the drain. The drain allows water from the ground to rise up into the drain and allows groundwater to seep down into the pipe so that it is diverted away from the low spot or your home.
French Drain Mistakes
It’s always best to have a professional install a French drain, especially if you are trying to keep water out of your basement. Some of the French drain mistakes people make drain include not finding out where underground utilities, including water pipes, are located, using corrugated plastic pipes instead of PVC, pointing the drainpipe holes in the wrong direction and buying the wrong type of stone for the drain.
PVC is smoother and has more rigid walls than the flexible corrugated plastic pipes, making it easier to clear a clog. The drain holes need to face down to keep the water level below the drain. And, if you use base stone instead of clear stone, the rock dust and debris could clog the drain. Clear stone is washed and cleaned, so it has much less rock dust.
Contact H&H Pest Control and Waterproofing
If you are having drainage problems, contact H&H Pest Control and Waterproofing to discuss installing a French drain and, if you are having problems with water entering your basement, waterproofing the basement.