With hurricane season wreaking havoc across the US, proper drainage is fast becoming a vital aspect of modern landscape construction in areas such as Briarcliff Manor, NY. An easy way to ensure proper drainage in your landscape is through the use of French drains. Not only do they prevent accumulation of water but they can also help prevent damage to your landscape from stormwater.
What is a French drain?
A French drain is essentially an underground perforated pipe embedded in a gravel or rock bed which routes water away from your home. The gravel or rock allows water to seep through and into the porous pipe which then carries water away from your house. These drains are especially recommended with retaining walls to prevent excessive accumulation of water in the soil mass behind the wall which can cause excessive pressure on the wall.
Types of French drain
There are a variety of different designs of French drains, each providing different levels of drainage depending on the intensity of the problem. For surface level puddling, a shallow drain can route water underground or towards a drainage ditch or water catcher. For more intense problems like ground water seeping into your basement, a deeper French drain would be required.
Why you need a pro
Having your French drain constructed professionally is highly important as there are a number of elements to their design that effect their drainage performance. For starters, these drains require excavation, which is a dangerous job especially for deep trenches, requiring proper equipment, training, and experience to be executed safely. The trenches dug for French drains also have to be sloped to allow water to flow through them easily. The correct depth of the trench is another vital component of the equation and can cause a significant loss in performance if calculated incorrectly, making an experienced contractor an invaluable asset such a project.
In addition to this, the correct grade of gravel and rocks is also an important part of the French drain. The rocks and gravel act as a sieve to filter out large particulates from reaching the pipe and causing a blockage. The pipe is also a vital part of the system, with its diameter and material being important determiners of the longevity of your drainage system. An experienced local contractor can make these decisions more effectively thanks to experience as well as a knowledge of local soil quality and permeability.
For wet basements, where water seeps into the foundations of the house, the design gets more complicated. This is due to the depth of the excavation, as well as choosing the right distance to dig trenches from the house’s foundations. Moreover, in some cases a sump pump will have to be coupled with the drain to encourage water out of the basement.
The use of fabric filters is now also a common place feature for French drains, enclosing the pipe to keep out sediment and particulates from accumulating inside it and causing a blockage. This results in better water flow, with the system requiring less maintenance over the years.
All in all, French drains are seemingly simple but the right decisions in their design can have a marked impact on their efficacy. Having an experienced contractor can ensure your drainage system is trouble free for years to come.