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How Deep Should French Drain Be

Can You Use A Trench Drain In A Yard

How Deep Should a French Drain Be In Macomb Township, Michigan

A well-designed perimeter trench drain system works very well in such cases by both draining your lawn and preventing excess water from entering the main structure of your home.

Do you need to put gravel under French drain?

The most reliable way to eliminate undesirable, free-standing water is to install French drains with slotted pipes, filter fabric and gravel. The old way of installing French drains is to do it without the gravel and the fabric.

How To Prevent Water From Seeping Into The Basement

If your homes foundation is laid on a flat surface, then it can form a depression on which surface runoff collects. The water flowing from the roofing can also collect on the depression.

In this case, youd need to construct a French drainage around your homes perimeter. You can also call it a footing drainage system.

It channels surface runoff and water from the roofing away from your homes foundation, such that it wont seep into the homes basement.

Another name used for this kind of a drainage system is deep French drainage. This is because the drain has to be dug to reach the homes footing, which can be at least 2 feet deep.

The best time to construct this drainage is when constructing a home. Constructing it afterward is more challenging and expensive since it might demand moving shrubs, walkways, and decks.

Why Is It Called A French Drain

The name French Drain comes from a man named Henry French, who was a judge, and farmer in Concord, Massachusetts, who promoted the idea in an 1859 book about farm drainage.

Some French Drain installations are designed to empty the groundwater into your house drain system. Because a French drain is designed to work on theprinciple of gravity, the endpoint of the drain should be lower than your house drainage system. Other uses are:

  • A low-lying area of your property
  • Rain Guttering Collection

French drains are used to direct surface water or problematic groundwater away from a specific area, such as a homes foundation or somewhere the water is detrimental. French drains direct surface level water toward the lowest point and allow it to seep through the surface level gravel into the drain. This gravel also blocks the passage of excess debris.

A French drain is most effective if groundwater runs to space, structure, or wall when facing a hillside, or if surface water enters your driveway and runs up against your home, or collects from rain gutters.

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Not Knowing The Zoning Regulations

Its critical that your French drain doesnt obstruct anyones property or a public space. Either of these instances could result in legal repercussions. For these reasons, you should check with the local building authorities.

In your region, drainage projects may be restricted by building requirements, community rules, or zoning laws. As a result, you should double-check your plans with any local building, zoning, or homeowners associations. So that you dont dig into an underground utility line, the proper authorities will mark your land with paint or a flag.

The Wrong Type Of Gravel Is Used

Pin on Landscapes &  Yard

You need this drainage rock to ensure the perfect permeability of the French drain. This filling material should consist of natural stones of mostly the round shape.

When the stones are round, the water flow will be smoother and faster. There is one more plus in such a shape. No separate piece can break off from the stones and clog the French drain. Repairing suc clogs is a big challenge, so you need to be very attentive about the choice of the rock.

The perfect option here is 1 ½ inches round rock. These washe round stones are ideal for your facility.

Read also: French drain around house cost

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What Is The Best French Drain Strategy For Retaining Walls

Lets presume for a moment that you decide to build a new structure on your property. You might even want to extend your home by adding more rooms or something similar.

You want to do that, but your house is on a hillside, and you worry about making sure the brickwork is stable enough to stand the test of time.

In many instances, retaining walls on slopes will become damaged, and compromises by water build-ups as rain flows down the hill.

The last thing you want is for the liquid to hit your wall and stop because that will cause flooding and many other issues.

So, its sensible to dig a French drain behind the wall and channel the water in the most suitable direction. That should ensure the construct maintains as much structural integrity as possible.

Of course, there is a decent chance French drains of that nature could become clogged with silt and other rubbish over time.

If you want to prevent that from happening, you just need to cover the footing with a specialist cloth. You can pick that up at most landscaping stores and online retail sites.

Is Sand Or Gravel Better For Drainage

Including the type of soil, the amount of rainfall, and the location of the drainage. In general, gravel is considered to be better for drainage than sand because it allows water to drain more quickly and prevents the formation of puddles.

However, sand may be a better choice in areas with high rainfall or clay soil, as it will absorb more water and prevent the formation of flooding. Ultimately, the best choice for drainage will vary depending on the specific conditions of the site.

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What Is A Geotextile Filter

A geotextile filter helps to protect the pipework used in your French drain.

You need to wrap all your crushed stone to ensure it doesnt rub up against the pipe and wear it away creating leaks. The material will also prevent unwanted things from falling into the drain and clogging it up.

So, if youre going to dig and build a French drain without the assistance of professionals, its vital that you search online for the best geotextile filter materials on the market.

Those items are going to ensure your drain remains in working order for much longer than it otherwise would have done, and they should also boost the performance of the French drain.

Not Lining The Trench

How Deep & Wide Should a French Drain Be?

Its also important to line your French drain with fabric. You want to use a continuous swath if possible.

If not, you can overlap pieces of fabric by at least 12. However, its important to secure both ends of the fabric with staples driven into the ground. As you lay the fabric, fold the excess on both sides and trim it away later.

Also, its important to overlap the fabric in the desired direction of flow. In other words, the fabric on the high side of the trench must overlap the fabric on the low side.

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When Is A French Drain Suitable

You might consider opting for a French drain if you have a wet basement or soggy garden following a prolonged period of rain.

In most situations, people who buy properties that require a solution of that nature will have the use of French drains already.

However, there are instances in which homeowners might want to pay for installation further down the line depending on their circumstances.

If you live in an area that is known to sustain flash flooding from time to time, a French drain could provide you with a lifeline that will protect your house and ensure the rainwater flows in the right direction.

How Close Should French Drain Be To Foundation

A French drain should be placed as close to the foundation as possible in order to effectively collect and redirect water away from the home. The drain should be installed at the base of the foundation on the exterior of the home, and then run along the perimeter of the property to a safe location for water to be discharged.

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Directing The Downspout Into The French Drain Can Be Harmful

A lot of homeowners believe that they can route the gutter spouts into the French drain system directly. It is a bad mistake because the drainage system can get overwhelmed with all that excess water when it is raining heavily. This flow of water can damage the entire system badly and your household may receive a severe backup of water into the basement.

The installation of a catch basin in front of the drain area looks like a much better solution. Only after that, you can connect the water flow from the French drain into that basin. Additionally, the catch basin can stop all the leaves and other debris from entering the French drain and clogging it badly.

In conclusion, remember that the installation of the French drain in your backyard is not a simple process. You can make some French drain mistakes while doing it and they will cause bad consequences and much damage to your house from the excess water collected in its lower layers. As a result, you can receive seasonal flooding, severe water backups, and a lot of moisture in the basement or crawlspace. You also need to take into account that if the French drain has ever been installed too close to the foundation, you are likely to need some help from professional plumbers and have it reinstalled correctly.

Popular Questions:

How To Deal With Pipe Holes?

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Placing Excavated Soil Back Into The Trench

Sutersville French Drain Project

Trenching can be a chore and sometimes contractors and home owners find it easier to put the left over excavated soil/clay on top of the newly created drain system. Adding soil back into the trench should be avoided. Excavating the trench and installing a drain system is normally done because because the soil didn’t properly drain. Ideal drain fields are porous, allowing water to flow to its desired destination without impediment. By adding soil/clay back into the drain system will clog and reduce the capacity of your French drain over time. BOTTOM LINE: Once the soil is removed don’t put it back in!

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How Much Gravel Should Be In The Bottom Of A French Drain

There are a lot of things necessary in order to install a functional French drain on a certain property. As mentioned earlier, a drainpipe and gravel make the drainage system do its work, along with landscape fabric and some landscaping stones. Together, the end results will be enough to intercept the water from basements and yards and keep it that way.

When it comes to gravel, more does not necessarily equate to better. Sure, it functions to make the water easily seep through the pipe and the designated outlet. However, putting in the right amount determines the overall success of the drainage system. Putting too much gravel may block the water instead, resulting in blockage and clogs. This leads us to the question of how much is just the right amount?

Generally, many experts say that the amount of gravel that should be in the bottom of the drain should be at least a third of the size of the perforated pipe. However, depending on the type of pipe you use and the expected water flow in the area, you may need to do a trial-and-error to determine the right amount for your use.

What Kind Of Gravel Should I Use

There are a lot of gravel types to choose from. However, if the purpose is for a French drain, experts recommend using hard rock types such as washer river rocks and granite chips.

The reason for this is mainly because hard rocks are tough and break slower than other rock varieties such as sandstone and limestone. Brittle rocks will not do any good for your drainage system and you may end up digging your trench just to replace them later.

When it comes to the size of gravel, try getting bigger ones if you are not using a perforated pipe. They should at least be one or one and a half inches big. As much as possible, avoid small rocks at all costs. Not only will they be useless for your drainage, but will also cause problems such as a blockage instead.

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Installing A French Drain In 10 Easy Steps

How to make a French Drain – a step-by-step guide to installing a French Drain. Preventing damp walls by installing drainage for Surface Water. Installing French Drains to drain surface water from gardens and driveways into a soakaway.

A French Drain is a low environmentalimpact solution to installing drainage for areas around walls, driveways and gardens.

Installing a French Drain is fairly easy and you should be able to manage to build a drainage system like this with a few materials, and either a hired mini digger, or some serious hard work with a shovel and wheelbarrow.

Here we introduce you to our 10 step guide How to Make a French Drain.

Installing The French Drain Around House Is An Incorrect Solution

How deep does my french drain have to be and can it cause basement flooding

You have already noticed that any seasonal flooding never passed by your house. You usually get the flooded basement or crawlspace, or any other lower area in your home. It means the worst scenario your French drain is installed incorrectly. It goes around the house or too close to the foundation. If the case is like that, you will inevitably get continuous problems with the excess water.

So, you need to remember that the French drain distance from house is important. The durian should be installed at the distance of at least 3 feet from the houses foundation. You should also consider this distance equally from the deck, patio, or porch.

Now, lets speak a bit about the French drain depth. The standard depth required for the French drain is two feet. In any other case, there is a risk of damaging it by electricity, gas, or water supply facilities that can go over the trench. The shallower installation can be dangerous both for your family and your neighbors. If the drainpipes have been damaged despite all the precautions, find the phone number of the federal helpline and ask them to help in any case of the damaged facilities. The experienced technicians who will be repairing the issue will also mark the areas of your French drain location to prevent it from further unearthing.

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How To Install French Drains

Divert groundwater from the basement or foundation with the help of gravel and fabric.

Good drainage is important to ensure that a home stays dry and free of mold. If groundwater collects in the basement, it is not only an inconvenient eyesore for the homeowner, it can also lead to wood rot and mold.

The most reliable way to eliminate undesirable, free-standing water is to install French drains with slotted pipes, filter fabric and gravel. The old way of installing French drains is to do it without the gravel and the fabric. Without the gravel and the fabric, however, the drain can clog up with sand and soil over time.

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The best practice for installing French drains is to use perforated drainage pipes, which allow water to enter or exit through small openings along the pipe. The perforations can be circles or slots. But slotted pipes are better than pipes with small round holes because they tend to reduce the number of fine soil particles that get into the pipe.

How Far From The Foundation And How Deep Should A French Drain Be

My wife and I bought a house recently but sadley the rainy season has come and I noticed a bad smell coming from the crawlspace I went under neath and found standing water about a inch deep running along two walls of the house.

The rain water is sitting on one side of the house and will take a few days to actually drain away/ evaporate so I’ve decided to install a French drain to help it run.

I was going to use 4in corrugated piping and hook the gutter system into it

And I just had a few questions

How far away from the foundation should I be?

With the soil being a majority sand should I dig shallow or deep? Or deep with a lot of stone on top?

And with the soil be majority sand should I use small stone, or large?

Thanks in advance for any advise you guys have!

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Reason #: The Pipe May Get Clogged

Aside from poor installation practices, another reason why French drains may fail can be due to a clogging issue. Usually, this happens when the water from the rain or other sources sticks into the pipes and the gravel instead of traveling towards its ideal path.

This is also the case when muddy water gets into the French drain. As soil and sediments build up in the pipes, the result will be a clog that will need to be addressed as soon as possible. If you want to determine if your drain is clogged, do some inspections around your property. You can do this by checking your yard for standing water and soggy soil. In some instances, your basement walls and foundation may be wet due to the condensation.

If you are in this situation, try doing maintenance on your pipe. Just insert a garden hose and let the water unclog the dirt by setting it on full blast.

If French Drains Can Use Pipes Which Pipes Are Best

French Drain

In most instances, the pipes professionals use for French drains are six inches in diameter and perforated.

However, when selecting the best products for your project, its sensible to consider the volume of water you intend to channel away from your property.

In some extreme cases, you might need to use the large-size pipe if the area is prone to flash flooding.

Depending on who you ask, some professionals say they prefer smooth pipe, whereas others will always use corrugated solutions. Both options seem to work well across the board, so thats probably got more to do with personal preference than anything else.

Just make sure you use some fabric to prevent clogging as much as possible and also work hard to maintain a suitable angle when creating your slope.

They are the only two issues that could ruin the entire job and leave you with a French drain that doesnt work as expected.

Indeed, those who fail to create a steep enough slope might even draw water towards their properties, and that could become disastrous if a storm hits.

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