How a French Drainage System Works

Building an effective drainage system is very essential to keep your homes and buildings mold-free and dry. This will also prevent water damages done to the foundation of your building as well as the flooding of your basement.

Waterproofing your house, especially your basement, with an efficient sewer system will prevent surface and underground water from seeping into your buildings and damaging your structures. Plotting your drainage solutions for your field system problems should not be a hassle as long as you know the basic concepts.

French drains are among the most common type of drain system used in many homes these days. It is basically a trench that is covered with gravel or rock and forces unnecessary ground and surface water away from a certain location. In many cases, hollow pipes run through the trench to accommodate more water in problem areas and to instantly expel water that passes through the rocks or gravels.

When a problem area causes too much flooding, especially after a heavy rain, building a French drain will be beneficial. A French drainage system, sloped properly, will cause the pooling water to disperse away from the problem area then into another network of draining systems or into the street gutters for proper disposal. By building a ditch in the area, surface water will get into the French drain more quickly and follow through the hollow pipes.

French drains are covered with gravel or sand instead of soil for easy draining of water. The tiny particles of dirt and soil may cause the drains to clog up. A typical French drain can function for many years without maintenance. For areas with large amounts of long-standing water, drainage pipes can be used to guide water quickly from the problem area to a pipe that leads to a French drain system. In this case, the surface drain is wrapped with a filter to prevent debris and dirt from clogging the French drains.

The size of your French drains depends on the amount of rainwater or excess water expected on the problem areas. Normally consisting of only a single hollow pipe, two or more pipes may also be used along a single trench. The redundancy of having multiple pipes serves as a contingency plan just in case one of the pipes becomes clogged or becomes defective in a certain area. Furthermore, when a single pipe becomes overfilled with water especially when it is located in a major problem area, it may have a hard time draining the waters instantly. Thus, by providing multiple pipes in a single trench especially in major areas, the overfilled pipe can transfer its load to the neighboring pipes to balance out the pressure.

French drains can also be built around the foundation of your house to prevent seepage into your structures. They can be buried outside and around the foundation walls of your house. They can also be installed beneath your basement, thus, below the perimeter of your house. In these ways, you can ensure that flooding is prevented inside your basement.

Planning and constructing for your drainage systems may be an arduous task but as long as you know the basic concepts of what these are and what they can do, you will understand how essential it is to prevent unnecessary water damages done to your house. You might also find the planning process enjoyable too. 


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