What is a French Drain?
Traditional French drains have been draining water away from properties and preventing ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging building foundations, since the 1920's. Over the last 20/30 years, they have also been used to assist with basement waterproofing systems. French drain installation normally occurs when a building is being constructed. It has been an industry standard solution for years, but for certain types of property, french drains around a house can be problematic...
How TO INSTALL A French drain PIPE
A French drain system works by burying a pipe in a deep trench around the outside of the property. Small, crushed stones are then packed around the french drain pipe. Next, the soil that was displaced when digging the trench is pushed back on top of the stones and pipe. The French drain then works by collecting any water from the soil that gets through the stones and into the pipe. This water is then directed safely away from the basement or cellar.
This process decreases the amount of water surrounding the basement of the property, resulting in less hydrostatic pressure against the foundation walls and, consequently, greatly reducing the risk of leaks and flooding from cracks.
Generally speaking, it is a sound system, but it is imperative that a French drain is installed in a way that will eliminate clogging. Water that gets into the drain will inevitably carry sediment from the soil and without adequate filter systems the drain will eventually clog and need to be dug up for maintenance.
Modern Alternatives to French drains
In recent years, the drainage systems that have been developed are far more effective and are not prone to the problems associated with traditional French drain systems. The basement drainage systems below are installed inside the property, as opposed to on the outside, and concentrate on managing the water "behind the scenes" rather than preventing it getting in. To find out more, check out the links below.
Water Guard drainage system
The Water Guard drainage system is installed along the walls of a basement with a membrane fitted onto the walls. This ‘catches’ all the water as it enters and directs the water to a sump pump for safe removal.WATER GUARD
DryTrak drainage system
The DryTrak drainage system is the only basement drainage system that can be used if the wall and floor joists are joined up. Water enters the DryTrak before being directed to a sump pump for safe removal.DRYTRAK
More information regarding modern French drain systems
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