Water issues in your yard or basement? Installing a French drain may help

by | Mar 21, 2012 | Home And Garden

If your house in Oklahoma City is situated on a slope or you have a persistently damp basement or wet lawn, installing a French drain on your property may solve your trouble. A French drain is a trench filled with gravel and a length of plastic perforated pipe that is designed to divert water away from an area. French drains provide channels for water to flow through easily. They catch surface water and water below the surface which runs through the pipes which are immersed in gravel and is deposited at a safe distance away from buildings or structures susceptible to water damage.

For every eight feet you wish water to flow, a French drain should be sloped by about an inch. This allows the water to flow downhill from one point to another. Water may be diverted to a lower lying area of your property, a ditch, or into the street, depending on the situation. If you have issues with surface water (for example, a soggy lawn) a French drain is useful in diverting water away from the area and to a better spot. To manage such water issues, a French drain can be very shallow, only about two feet deep. However, more substantial water issues, such as standing water in a flat yard, may require a deeper French drain, or what is referred to as a footing drain. Generally, a French drain in Oklahoma City is installed during house construction, along the foundation. French drains like these are much more difficult and expensive to install after house construction because installation requires upheaval of landscaping or, in some cases, removal of some structures, such as walkways and raised beds. Some French drains require the addition of a piping system to collect water or a sump pump which diverts water to a storm drain.

A French drain in Oklahoma City is also frequently installed in basement interiors along the perimeter of the basement floor. Installation of an interior French drain involves a channel being cut around the perimeter of the floor, the concrete being removed, and a perforated pipe being installed around the entire length of the channel. Water is collected and carried by a solid pipe to a collection tank set into the floor at a lower level than the channel. In some cases, the water is carried by a sump pump outside to a storm drain or a surface well or into the yard. Finally, a French drain in Oklahoma City can also be incorporated into landscaping, such as the retaining walls, to eliminate buildup of water around the base of the structure.

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