Do you have a soggy yard or a leaky basement? We’ve got just the solution for you—a french drain. It’s a simple system that can be highly effective when installed correctly and in the right spot. Want to know how it works and where you can use it? As a Maryland basement waterproofing company, we are happy to share a few tips.
How Does a French Drain Work?
A traditional french drain is simply a trench filled with gravel and covered with sand. The purpose of this trench is to provide a low-resistance path for the rainwater to quickly penetrate the ground, which helps eliminate puddles. Modern french drains actually have a perforated pipe inside the gravel-filled trench. Once the water enters the pipe through the holes, it can be carried and discharged away from your home or yard.
Where to Install a French Drain
French drains can be used around your property in several applications. Depending on what kind of water issues you are having and where the water is coming from, you can install a french drain in one (or a few) of these locations.
Interior Perimeter French Drain
An interior french drain can be installed along the perimeter of your basement and then connected to a sump pump system. This setup is also known as interior drain tile. Your basement’s concrete flooring would have to be disturbed in order to perform this procedure. But the result is worth it: an indoor french drain collects rainwater and directs it to the sump pump to be discharged. This prevents water from coming up through your basement floor and causing leaks.
Exterior Perimeter French Drain
Exterior french drain (exterior drain tile) is laid next to the footer of your home’s foundation and can also be connected to an outdoor sump pump. Or the pipes can be slanted to discharge water into a drywell or the public storm sewer. In order to install an outdoor perimeter french drain, the foundation of your home will have to be excavated down to the footer and below. This is not the fastest, nor the cheapest waterproofing project, but it’s extremely effective in stopping water when done right.
If your Baltimore basement waterproofing contractor recommends an outdoor french drain, or if you chose this as the appropriate waterproofing method, here are a few tips to make this project more cost-effective. Since your foundation is going to be dug up anyway, consider adding other exterior waterproofing methods, such as parging, rubberized epoxy coatings or waterproof membrane installation. This way you can double the waterproofing protection with little added cost.
Outdoor Yard French Drain
If your lawn tends to get soggy every time it rains, a french drain can solve this problem. A french drain installed in your yard is typically not buried as deep as it is in basement waterproofing applications. After all, its purpose is to collect surface water. Such drains typically use gravity to carry the water to a discharge location, so the proper angle of the pipe is crucial for the system’s effectiveness.
Wondering if a french drain is the right solution to your problems? Contact Basement Waterproofing Technologies today to speak with a local Maryland waterproofing specialist.