Installation tips for French drains
Many homes have rainwater runoff problems because they are located downhill. French drains represent an effective solution for these problems. Knowing the right tips for constructing a French drain can make a difference.
Some of the tools and materials that you will need are:
- Trench shovel
- Grub hoe
- Washed gravel
- Porous landscape fabric
- Perforated PVC drain pipe (rigid)
- Drainpipe sleeve
Digging the trench
The first thing that you will need to do, besides the planning, is digging the trench. It’s better to have a wider trench than a narrower one because it can get clogged faster. Although it will take more effort to build, you won’t have problems with clogs for a long time.
The slope is a must when digging the trench. Because French drains use gravity to redirect water, and not a pump, the slope of the trench needs to be steep enough to allow a normal water flow. A good slope is of 1%, meaning 1 foot per 100 feet.
One way to keep silting soil from clogging the drain is using porous landscape fabric. The fabric needs to envelop the gravel after the trench has been entirely filled. So make the right measurements.
After you have dug the trench and laid the landscape fabric, you need to pour a 2-inch layer of dashed gravel. On the layer of gravel, you will need to place the drain pipe that will collect and redirect the water. The pipe needs to be rigid and if you are using multiple pieces, use secured fittings.
The exit of the pipe should be in a place where it won’t cause any foundation problems to other structures.
Landscape fabric and gravel
After you have laid the pipes and set another layer of gravel over the pipes, you need to take the edges of the landscape fabric and overlap them over the gravel. You can then cover it with sod.
If done right, a French drain can make a real difference. It can save your home or garage from water damage.