What is a French Drain and When is it Needed?

Retaining Wall

French Drains can be beneficial to irrigation and overall landscape beauty.

A French drain is a trench filled with gravel or rock or containing a perforated pipe that redirects surface water and groundwater away from an area. A French drain can have perforated hollow pipes along the bottom to quickly vent water that seeps down through the upper gravel or rock. French drains are primarily used to prevent ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging building foundations. Alternatively, French drains may be used to distribute water, such as a septic drain field at the outlet of a typical septic tank sewage treatment system. French drains are also used behind retaining walls to relieve ground water pressure.

Do I Need a French Drain?

Warning signs suggesting that you may you need a French drain include seeing traces of water on your home’s foundation. This indicates that water from your house or yard has escaped. Water stains located high up on the foundation wall could mean that the drainage problem originated outside your house. To find the source of these issues, check your rain gutters for clogs or your soil for standing water. But if you notice a continuous line of water stains in your basement, you may face a more serious matter. You could live in an area with a fluctuating water table that causes water to leak inside your home. Or if your home was built below the water table line, this could cause city storm drains to back up inside your house. All of these issues could lead to bigger problems, unless you invest in a French drainage system.

Advantages of Installing a French Drain

The biggest advantage the French drain is that it keeps moisture from flooding your home or land. Installing a French drain allows you to direct any water from a higher spot, typically where your home or garage is located, to a lower one. This keeps you from having to deal with flooding in the home, as well as messy water cleanup. Not only does the water flow with ease in the direction that you want, you can install it on your own with a few easy steps. The most difficult part of this project is deciding where you want to put the drain and from there on, it’s all downhill. This type of drain also exceeds others as you do not have to do damage to your yard to install it.

Concrete Installation and Maintenance from PTG Enterprises

If you want to protect your asphalt and ensure it has a long lifespan, choose PTG Enterprises for your sealcoating and asphalt maintenance needs. We offer commercial concrete, masonry, asphalt installation, repair, and paving throughout Baltimore, Harford, Anne Arundel, Howard, and P.G. Counties. If you are interested in hearing how we can help you, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 636-8777. For more tips and tricks, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Flickr.


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