While you might think the grass is greener where water often puddles, it’s usually the opposite. Standing water in your yard or frequent flooding in your home usually means your yard or home needs a better drainage solution. This is where a French drain system can come in handy. These underground drainage systems provide a clearer path for water to flow away from your home—reducing the risk of water damage, mold, wood rot, and more. Learn more about French drain systems and how they can solve outdoor water drainage problems.

What Does a French Drain Do?

The purpose of a French drain system is to provide a smooth, least-resistance path for water to flow. Each aspect of a French drainage system is designed to allow water to flow easily through and out to a drainage area in your yard or a municipal sewer system.

It effectively and quickly drains excess water away from a location to help prevent water damage, making it particularly effective for homes prone to flooding, runoff, or standing water.

How Does a French Drain Work?

Like many drainage systems, a French drain is a fairly simple dug-out trench installed into your property that utilizes gravity and an easy-flow system to redirect water quickly. A French drain is comprised of the following:

  • Soil-dug trench
  • Landscape fabric
  • Crushed stone or gravel
  • Perforated pipe

Here’s how French drains work:

  1. Gravity. Taking advantage of gravity, the trenches and piping are installed at an angle. This helps prevent resistance and keeps water flowing naturally to its final destination.
  2. Filtration. The piping is wrapped in a water-permeable fabric that allows water to flow through it easily but prevents dirt, debris, and weeds from clogging up the pipes.
  3. Flow. Crushed stone or gravel surrounds the perforated pipe to help the water slowly enter the pipe and trickle down the drainage path. This prevents pressure buildup that could be caused by too much or too little filtration.
  4. Redirection. Pipes are installed on a clear path toward a designated drainage area or sewer system.
  5. Drainage. Excess water is evenly distributed throughout your yard or released into a drainage ditch or system.

Where Does French Drain Water Go?

Often, if your home is located close enough to your central municipal sewer system, your French drain can redirect water to these drains. Alternatively, the water can be redirected to:

  • A drainage ditch.
  • A suitable or low-lying area of your yard.
  • A dry well.
  • Or evenly distributed throughout your yard.

Do I Need a French Drain Around My House?

It depends. If you often experience lighter, spot flooding or water gathering around the perimeter of your home, you may need a simpler solution such as:

  • A rain garden.
  • Heavier mulch.
  • Routine yard aeration.

If you experience much heavier puddling in your yard or flooding inside your home, you should consider a French drain system and supporting systems, such as a sump pump or dry well.

Related: 6 Tips to Prevent Basement Flooding

When To Use a French Drain

Because French drain systems are installed underground, there are plenty of other considerations before you commit to installing one in your home. Underground pipes, gas lines, water lines, and electrical wires can interfere with a French drain installation.

It’s best to consult a professional before considering a French drain system for your home. Sometimes, a different, less intrusive drainage solution may be best.

Prevent Flooding by Installing a Drainage Solution System

Are you experiencing water spots in your yard or pooling around your home? Contact our plumbing professionals at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing for drainage solutions! Whether you need drain cleaning, plumbing repairs, or sump pump installation, our experts will find the solution. Call us at 1-877-BEN-1776 or book an appointment online.