French drains are a great way to manage water accumulation or intrusion. Surface and subsurface water can quickly become a problem when it begins to pond or flow into a property. Many problems can result from uncontrolled surface & subsurface water like murky/muddy soil that never dries up, water intrusion into homes, and structural problems. French Drain systems are very effective in managing these types of water accumulations. French Drains are sub-surface drains that consist of perforated pipes and are protected by gravels and geotextile fabrics. They allow water to flow in and keep debris and soil out to keep the pipes from clogging. The water is then diverted by solid pipes to exit away from the house or property. Subsurface drains have been in use for centuries to manage surface and sub-surface water.
Types of French Drains
Some French drains are installed in lawn areas to help dry out the muddy mess that occurs with standing water in the grass. Once the drains are installed, they are covered back up with soil and grass to keep the original look and functionality of the lawn while drying the area out. These French drains under the lawn and grass areas constantly move water from accumulating in these problem areas and restore the lawn to a healthy state where it can thrive and not drown. It also stops bare areas from forming which allow weeds to grow and proliferate.
Another type of French drain is the open-trench design which is highly functional at quickly moving surface water flow away. This type of French drain is installed in areas where water flows or ponds at a faster rate and river stones or river gravels are placed on top of the pipes to create a very porous opening to the drains. These allow water to quickly flow into the pipes, making them great systems to be installed near fences and along planter beds where they form an aesthetically desirable border while being highly functional water management systems.
On some occasions, we will design a hybrid system where we install open-trench French drains along fences and borders connected to subsurface lawn French drains to achieve a dry, well-managed property.
French drains are used commercially and in large applications such as HOA common areas, schools, and churches. Some of our clients such as track and sports fields use French drains to control pooling water and are covered with lawns that keep water from pooling so the show can go on. We have installed French drains in churches, community pool lawn areas, and anywhere pooling water or surface and sub-surface water is a problem. We are commonly contracted by HOAs to install these drains behind fences and in common areas where water flows out from individual yards and create small streams of flowing water. By using river gravels and sod we are able to effectively control the surface water and still allow for significant foot travel without them being noticed. No area is too large or too small for us to install a French drain in. Interior French drains are basement drains connected to sump pumps.
Many homeowners and companies have the right idea and try to install French drains with the hope of achieving a result, but end up falling short with a lack of expertise and training. DES engineers create systems tailored to each client’s volume and each particular need that is guaranteed to work. Our employees install these French drains on a daily basis and client feedback is always very positive. Many waterproofing and grading jobs rely on French drains to help move water away from areas where it is causing problems. Once we evaluate your property, we will determine if a French drain is needed to help solve the problem at your place.