Portland OR, Vancouver WA
Flooding basements and yards are no fun for anyone! Homeowners who experience this occurrence should consider installing a French drain, which would be a simple fix to this headache.
What is a
A trench filled with gravel or rocks, that contains perforated pipes to redirect surface water and groundwater away from a given area, is a French Drain. This basic irrigation system has been a historically elegant way to solve over-saturation issues that homes face.
Why is it Called a French Drain?
Don’t let this name fool you though! Henry Flagg French, the creator of the French Drain. A lawyer and Assistant US Treasury Secretary from Concord, Massachusetts, French introduced this concept in his 1859 publication Farm Drainage. Originally designed with sections of roofing tile with 1/8 inch of separation to admit water.
To accommodate this system, specialized tiles were made. The gravel size was varied from course at the center of the pile, and fine surrounding it; this was proven to be the best way to prevent clogging, until geotextiles (permeable fabrics with the ability to separate, filter, protect, and drain) were introduced in the 1950s.
How Can a French Drain Help?
The French drain provides an easy channel for water to flow through, eventually reaching a point a safe distance from the house. Water is diverted to low-lying area of the property like a drainage ditch, or the street.
Top Reasons to Get a French Drain
There are different types of solutions for different water irrigation needs:
- Surface water: issues resulting in a soggy lawn or washed out driveway. Shallow French drains, or curtain drain, that extends horizontally across your property would intercept water and channel out of the soggy spot.
- Issues with water getting in the basement, causing flooding. A deep French drain, or footing drain, that runs around the perimeter of the house at the footing level would intercept water before it can enter the basement/crawl space. Another solution is interior French drains. This intercepts water as it enters basement/crawl space by cutting a channel around the perimeter of the house and installing perforated piping; which would flow into a collection tank then sent out via sump pump.
At Bloom we are your drainage solution specialists. Let’s set up a free crawl space estimate for you home and see what Bloom can do for you.
Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider
Bloom Reporter Leah Iannacone