People who live in rainy climates often look for ways to divert their bulk of leftover rainwater. One such way is by installing a french drain. But be careful! Most people tend to make a lot of french drain mistakes, some that only lead them further into a bigger pool of water.
If you’re someone who’s not well-versed with construction and carpenter lingo, you’re probably scratching your head, wondering what a french drain is. Don’t worry. Despite the fancy name, a french drain is nothing more than a drain pipe dug under the earth’s surface to help redirect excess water. In short, it’s a gravel ditch that helps to keep the water flowing away from your house. This means no more random puddles or spaces filled with gathered water because, through a french drain, you can get rid of it all.
Common French Drain Mistakes People Make
People often liken a french drain and a gutter to being the same. However, they couldn’t be more different. Although they both share the same purpose of redirecting the water, a gutter line leaves the water on the ground. In comparison, a french drain can expel all the water underground.
Nonetheless, before you go digging everything up by yourself, here are some typical french drain mistakes you should avoid:
1. Not Knowing What Lies Underneath Before you grab a shovel and start to dig a hole in your backyard, it’s important to know what lies beneath. Many utility lines run under the ground of your house. For instance, sewer lines, plumbing pipes, gas lines, and at times, even electrical wiring. If you accidentally hit or damage any of these chutes, it could lead to dangerous outcomes. Make sure to call and check with local utility companies to know the best area to start construction.
2. Ignoring the Direction of Flowing Water The focal purpose of a french drain is to ensure the water body moves away from your house and property. If you install the french drain in the opposite direction, it would be rendered completely useless. Rather than the water moving away, going against the water flow could have it pool around your landscape. Moreover, it could also cause leakage and other flooding damage. That is why paying attention to the water flow is essential.
3. Using the Wrong Base To get the most out of your french drain, make sure you’re using the correct type of gravel — size, style, and quantity matter far more than you might think. An improper base can cause the entire project to go awry. Opt for round, natural-looking stones that are 1.5 inches in diameter to get the best out of your french drain. In addition, avoid small rocks, as they could cause clogging.
4. Not Paying Attention to the Drain’s Slope When there’s a slope, water tends to flow downwards. This is why it’s critical to keep an eye out for such alternating landscapes. If your drain only lies flat, has too many dips, or the water pressure is wrong, then you may not be getting accurate results. Instead, in such cases, the water can get trapped inside the drain.
5. Skipping Crucial Steps Installing a french drain isn’t exactly fun and games; it requires time, patience, and a lot of steps in between. However, skipping out on even one of them can lead to serious repercussions. Using the correct drainage pipe, materials, landscape, etc., all help to tie the final results together. Otherwise, you’ll be left with nothing but a puddle of water — just like how you first started.
What to do Next?
In conclusion, french drains are a beneficial solution to getting rid of standing water. However, it’s vital to pay close attention and avoid making the above-mentioned french drain mistakes. If you find yourself in a watery pickle, give our professionals at Q Recycling Construction a call by dialing (832) 263-0152.