A French drain system installation might be the solution you need for your waterlogged yard or damp basement in Chappaqua, NY. It is also necessary when attempting to construct retaining walls on a hillside. A French drain system exploits the natural tendency of water to flow downhill, via the path of least resistance. A downward-sloped trench filled with gravel provides an attractive path through which the water trapped in your landscape can flow. The water then runs into perforated pipes that divert it elsewhere. But before you commit wholeheartedly to a French drain system installation and repair by a particular company, ask potential candidates the following questions:
How Drastic Is the Drainage Problem?
Before committing to the installation of a French drain system, it is important to know the extent of your drainage problem. This will give you an indication of the amount of work to be done and the costs you can expect to incur. If your landscape solely suffers from excess surface water, for example, then a shallow French drain would be sufficient. This is less expensive to install than the deep French drainage system required by a home with a wet basement. Installing a French drain to address the infiltration of water into your basement will also result in greater disruption to your landscape and home foundations, increasing costs. Installing a French drain as part of the construction of a hillside retaining wall adds little to the established costs of construction. However, it is necessary to prevent the accumulation of water behind the wall from damaging its structural integrity.
Where Will Water Be Re-routed?
Water drained from one area of your landscape is often re-routed to a different and more appropriate part of your property. The company will find a low-lying location that is far enough from the problem area to facilitate a gradient down which water will easily flow. It should remain at least a foot away from any walls and fences, as the accumulation of water around these structures can reduce their longevity. The flow of water in this area should not affect neighboring properties either.
What Are the Maintenance Requirements?
French drains generally require very little maintenance; however, they can occasionally become clogged or damaged. Yearly inspections will ensure that problem areas are identified and addressed before progressing to that point. The French drain system should also be cleaned regularly using a sewer snake or similar equipment. French drain inspection, cleaning, and maintenance require a fair deal of knowledge and expertise—as well as special equipment. You should, therefore, ensure that your chosen company is equipped to take care of your French drain system for years to come, and at a reasonable rate.
How Long Will the System Last?
If a French drain system is installed properly, using sufficient materials, it will last for many years. Failing to line the trench in filter cloth, and committing any similar blunders in installation, will lead the French drain system to require replacement in just a few years. So, you need to entrust the installation of your French drain system to a professional, reputable company that stands by its work.