Using French Drains To Prevent Water Damage

French drains (“FD”) can be effective tools when it comes to preventing water damage. With a French drain, you can divert ground water from your building, hence prevent foundation damage.

Now, for those of you who are unsure on what a FD is, this is a perforate pipe which is placed on the ground and covered with gravel. The pipe works to redirect ground water from your structure to a preferred location which would ideally be a good distance away from your structure.

Such drains can help divert water from low lying areas of your home into a drainage system, the street, a lower area of your compound or a dry well. If you are building your home by the hillside, it’s always recommended that you install a FD along the retaining wall so as to avoid flooding.

Why Would You Need A French Drain

They can help:

  • Prevent water leaks
  • Prevent basement flooding
  • Relieve your sump pump

A leaking pipe could easily cause flooding within your basement. This could come with a wide array of problems–such as structural weakness, mold and mildew build up, amongst others. Such damage could be prevented quite easily when there is a FD installed in your home, as it could help prevent the water from accumulating within the basement.

Sump pumps are usually used to prevent such occurrences. FDs could also be used along with sump pumps to relieve it off its load. Flooding is usually unexpected; however it can occur on any structure with heavy rainfall. You can ensure that your structure is safe by having a French drain installed. French drains help you stay one step ahead since they prevent water damage and don’t merely work to regulate flooding.

When to Install a French Drain

  • You are building a hillside retaining wall
  • Water normally gets into your basement when it rains

If your home is always the subject of basement flooding when it rains, a French drain can be an important part of your drainage system. The drain would ideally be placed within the basement’s perimeter to intercept the water before it can make its way to the basement. The French drain could also be placed inside the basement, to catch water as it enters your basement.

In fact, this is one of the safest ways to ensure that your basement does not flood. When building a retaining wall that is a hillside, a FD would need to be placed on the concrete footing of the wall or the gravel base. For this to work you would need to ensure that drain does not clog up with silt; it’s best to have a professional install the drain.

Water damage can have negative effects on the structure of your home and your health. The good news is that you can easily prevent water damage from occurring by simply having a French drain installed on your property as such drains make ideal drainage systems and require little to no maintenance.