Exterior Prevention

French Drains

Diagram of French Drain SystemWhen should you opt for a French drain?

  • When you have a low-lying wet spot or swale in your yard, where water is being trapped
  • When you have wet soils in close proximity to your foundation, causing pressure on your waterproofing system

Whereas gutters collect precipitation as it runs off the roof, French drains manage water at ground level, where water may pool after a heavy rainstorm if there is not appropriate surface grading. A properly located French drain can move large volumes of water out of these areas, protecting your basement and creating a lawn that is usable in all seasons.

French drains are typically several feet deep with a perforated PVC tile at the bottom of a 2’ wide ditch filled with gravel. This allows surface water to escape down through the gravel to the drain pipe. The drain pipe is then trenched in and routed out to a more convenient location on the property, or into the storm drain.