A French Drain Might Be The Solution For Your Wet Basement Or Yard Flooding

Posted on: 8 July 2016

If water accumulates in your yard every time it rains, it can create all kinds of problems for you. Standing water is a hazard because it could cause your basement to get wet if the pools of water are near your foundation. In addition, water attracts mosquitoes, snakes, and other pests to your yard. Not only that, your kids and pets have to avoid the wet area until it dries out, so you lose a portion of your yard to the water. The easiest solution to this problem is to have a French drain installed. This is how it works.

Digging The Trench

A French drain is buried in the ground. To install it, the contractor has to dig a trench in your yard to contain the pipe. The trench runs from the sunken area of your yard to the street or some other drainage area. If the water gets in your basement, the contractor may position the drain near the foundation of your home so the water is drained away before it can seep into your home. Digging the trench is a disruptive process. You will lose part of your sod and maybe some landscaping plants. It is easier and faster to dig the trench with trencher machine, but if space is tight, it is possible to dig the trench by hand. The trench must be several inches deep so it can contain the drainage pipe. The trench must be made at a sloping angle so water naturally flows through it using gravity alone.

Inserting The Pipe

The drain used in the system is a large plastic hose that has perforations on top of it. When it rains, the water seeps through the grass and falls through the holes into the pipe. Since the water doesn't have to soak all the way through the soil, it disappears quickly rather than pooling in the yard. Once the water is in the pipe, it flows to the street or into a pond, so it is out of your way. The pipe is covered with landscaping fabric so roots won't clog up the holes. Then, a thin layer of gravel is added to make it easy for water to drain through the soil. After that, a thin layer of soil fills in the trench, and you can plant grass seed or put sod over the bare soil. Once the grass grows back, there is no evidence of the trench or the drain left behind.

Your new French drain should keep your yard from flooding and protect your basement from water damage as a side benefit. If there is some reason you can't install a French drain in your yard and a wet basement is your primary concern, then your contractor may opt to install a French drain in your basement instead. It works in the same way as an exterior drain. The only difference is that it removes water with a pump rather than gravity. An interior drain won't do anything about the standing water in your yard, but it will at least keep your basement dry.