Water and basements just don’t mix. Basements flood, mold and mildew form, and these things cost a lot to repair. Anything stored in the basement is, if not ruined, at least unusable until it dries out. A much higher cost is to the family’s health, in that allergy sufferers and asthmatics spend more money at the doctor office for medicines. But what should homeowners do when rain puddles around the house? It’s why you should install French Drains around your foundations.
But Doesn’t the Drainage System Handle It?
There are four types of yard drains, and they all work on the same principle: direct the water away from the foundation. A grassy swale dips every ten feet or so. The water therefore runs downhill as it were to a catch point such as a dry well or a swampy section of the property.
Corrugated plastic tubes direct rainwater away from the house from the downspouts. A dry well or a boggy section of the property, no matter how the water is directed away from the foundation, collects the water. A French Drain is another method of stopping water from puddling around the foundation.
A wet basement isn’t the only problem deriving from puddling water on a property. Grass and plants tend to die when their roots are drowned. Mosquitoes and other unpleasant critters breed and live around water. If there are humans around, so much the better.
The family will track all that water and mud into the house. This will play havoc with hardwood floors, trap unpleasant things in the carpet, and give you another mess to clean up. Better to get rid of the water.
I Get It. Tell Me About French Drains
The drain was invented in the mid 1800s by an American lawyer who wanted to drain his farm properly. He used terra cotta roof tiles formed into the likeness of piping. It can be placed inside a basement or outside along the foundation.
If water pressure beneath the slab forces water into the basement via the joins of wall and floor or through cracks in the foundation, then a French Drain will be placed inside the basement along the wall and floor joins. A trench is dug, and washed gravel will be placed in the trench. The perforated piping covered by water-permeable fabric will be laid, the trench refilled, and the floor replaced. The piping is aimed at a sump, which safely carries the water away from the house.
Outside the house, the same process is performed. A trench is dug some distance from the foundation of the house. Make sure the trench leads to a point at which rainwater can drain such as a dry well or a thicket or a wood. At the bottom of the trench, fill with a layer of washed gravel. Then place perforated pipe covered with water-permeable fabric. Now cover the whole with gravel or decorative stones.
A sump pump should be installed in order to carry the water away from the foundation. The pump should be strong enough to carry the water away faster than the rain is falling into the trench.
Anything Else I Should Know?
Ultimately, this is not a job for a do it yourselfer. A properly trained waterproofing specialist and technicians should perform the job. A homeowner might not know that instead of landscaping fabric to keep dirt and roots out of the piping, piping with fabric already wrapped is available. A homeowner might not know that renting a trench digger is even an option.
Just like sewage pipes, drainage pipes need a cleanout. Homeowners might be unaware that placing a cleanout somewhere along the trench above ground would be a good idea, just in case roots or something else causes a problem.
We know a lot about drainage. We are here for you when you need to contact the experts, so feel free to contact us to learn more about it.