French Drains Help To Keep Water Out Of Your Basement

A wet basement can turn into a huge problem. You might end up with mold in your basement, as well as damage to your floors and walls. You want to do everything you can to keep that water out of the basement. One thing you can do is to have French drains installed around your house. 

French Drains

French drains may also be called trench drains or weeping tile. They aren't called French because they are from France, but because a man named Henry French from Massacheutts suggested them in a book on farming in the mid-1800s. Basically, what they are is a trench that is dug around your house, a foot or two away from your house. They are filled with gravel and soil, and they may have pipes that run through the trench as well. 


The first part is digging the trench to the proper depth, which can vary depending on your location, but generally around 2 feet deep. The trench should gently slope toward wherever you are going have it let out. That's because water likes to flow downhill, and you'd do better to work with gravity and water's natural tendencies than to flow along the easiest path than you would to fight it to go elsewhere. Once you have dug your trench, you are going to want to put down a layer of gravel. Then you can put down the pipe, if you want, covered with more gravel, and finally the soil. Your trench should lead out to a drain like a storm drain, or a place in your yard that can handle extra water. 

How It Works

The way that a French drain works is that the water gets into the French drain by filtering down through the gravel and the soil. If you have a pipe in the drain, then the pipe should have many small holes drilled into it so that the water can get down into the pipe, and then be carried away to another location. The holes should be smaller than the gravel being used so that they don't get clogged. If you don't have a pipe, the water will still run down the drain, but it will also filter into the soil in an area where it won't hurt your foundation, and in a slower fashion because the gravel slows it down. 

If your basement has water sitting in it, you need to deal with it. French drains can help you with that. Companies like Jaco Waterproofing can help.