“French drain” is a fancy name for a long pipe set in a shallow trench. A French drain is installed in an area where it’s necessary to drain water away from a vulnerable or flood-prone spot. The trench is dug from the waterlogged area to the area where the drain will empty, and it’s set at a slight slope to allow water to flow easily down the pipe. The trench-normally around six inches wide by twelve inches deep–holds a four inch to six-inch pipe that runs along its length on a bed of gravel.
French drains combined with gutters help divert rainwater away from soggy areas and offer significant protection to your home. You only need a mild slope to achieve the drainage benefits, and the drain is covered with gravel or even turf in some applications. Read on to learn about three ways French drains save homes from damage:
French Drains Keep the Termites at Bay
Wood isn’t the big attracter of termites on its own. Termites enjoy places with lots of moisture. When the soil around your home remains wet, it creates a perfect place for termites to congregate.
Wet soil that’s in contact with wood keeps any wooden posts or piers damp and invites lots of termite chewing. Install French drains in areas around your home and decking where the soil remains wet. This dries out the soil and discourages termites and other pests who are drawn to moist dirt and wood.
French drains also keep humidity and moisture away from the crawlspace, which is another place that termites look for damp living quarters. Place drains under air conditioners and near back splashes that tend to overflow to keep your crawl space as dry as possible.
French Drains Save the Basement
One of the worst things to happen to a home is flooding in the basement. The water can destroy furnishings, living quarters, tools, and stored items. Mold and mildew grow on walls. Your home’s foundation may be seriously damaged.
If you live in a flood-prone area due to proximity to a nearby body of water or your location in a flood plain, your basement is at risk. Have an inspector take a look at your home’s exterior to determine what steps you must take to reduce the chance of a basement flood.
French drains are a low-cost, simple method to divert water away from soggy sections around your basement walls. Have them installed wherever you find leaks, and place them in spots around the basement where water tends to puddle, pool, or drain slowly.
French Drains Prevent Septic Backups
Land changes over time, even on your little piece of it. Your septic field may become compromised by silt, tree roots, or excess debris over the area.
If your septic drains and tiling stop working properly, the resulting water backup turns your lawn into a stinky swamp. Worse, septic lines may back up and cause raw sewage to flow the wrong way into your home. Nobody wants that mess.
If you notice your septic drain-field is getting overly soggy, consider installing French drains around the area instead of redoing the entire septic field. A few French drains may solve the problem without expensive digging and repairs. You’ll get the bonus of reclaiming areas of your lawn you couldn’t use before because of the puddling and swampiness of the septic overflow.
French drains must be monitored like any drain. They can become clogged or fail due to other issues. It’s a good idea to walk around your property after heavy rains to check on all of your yard’s drainage issues. When you spot problems with your French drains early, they can be repaired before you suffer any damage to your home.
Contact Gutter Magician NKY today to have your French drains professionally installed. Your gutters and French drains can be designed to work together to keep the floods, bugs, and backups away.