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French Drain Installation Basics: Things To Think About

If you've been looking into options for water mitigation around your home's perimeter, you might be thinking about installing a French drain. If so, it's in your best interest to explore the fundamentals of French drain installation. After all, there are some unique factors that many people don't think about when it comes to installing this type of drainage system, and it can leave some homeowners caught unaware. Here's a look at a few of the things that you need to think about before you start digging for your French drain.

How Will You Handle The Soil?

Most French drain systems require that you dig a trench that's at least several feet deep and a foot or two wide. The actual depth of your French drain system will depend on how much slope you need to add to the system, but the depth of the trench has a direct effect on the amount of soil you end up dealing with.

By the time you're done digging the trench, you're likely to have several tons of soil to deal with. Think about how you'll handle that. If you have the system professionally installed, your installation contractor can provide you with some recommendations for mitigating soil accumulation.

How Much Gravel Do You Need?

The next thing you need to think about is how much gravel you're going to need. In most French drain systems, the bottom of the trench is filled with gravel to help encourage proper drainage and filtration. Then, the drainpipe is placed above the gravel, and then you fill in the trench with gravel or other material afterward.

Since French drainpipe systems are perforated, avoid adding any of the soil back over the pipe unless you wrap the entire system in landscape fabric. This is important because those perforation holes will get clogged with soil otherwise, which inhibits proper water flow and diversion. Instead, consider filling the trench with gravel around the pipe so that you have a full trench that allows for sufficient water flow. That will add up to a lot of gravel, so be prepared.

These are a couple of the most important elements to think about when you are installing a French drain system. Talk with your installation contractor today for more help and information. They can help you plan out your entire drainage path for optimal water flow and diversion away from your home's foundation.

Contact a landscape contractor for more information on French drain installation

About Me

New Landscape Makes a Yard Feel New Again

Hi. My name is Martha. My husband Leo and I are empty nesters. The last of our three kids moved out of the home about eight years ago. Since that time, we have talked a great deal about retirement and what we wanted to do with our house. The house is slightly too large for just the two of us, but we already have two grandchildren and from the way our kids talk, we are in for plenty more. We have decided to stay in our home since it has plenty of room for our family to come and stay with us from time to time. The one thing we really wanted to change is the backyard. Leo retired last year, and I’ll be retiring in about six months. We are already talking with the landscape contractor, and I’m excited to share some of our plans with you!


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