Installing French Drains
How to Drain a Wet Yard
If you have a wet or swampy yard and is the
source of the water is leaking into your basement, installing a French
drain or a trench drain may be the answer to your problem.
It takes a lot of work but a DIY homeowner can install French
a French drain system must be installed correctly if it’s going to
be effective. Not only will it stop your basement water problem it
will also drain your yard. Builders frequently install trench drains
as a solution to getting rid of pools of water around the house. But
not all builders install drains, leaving the homeowner with the
problem to deal with down the road.
good rain all the water does not simply just drain down into the
soil. It may in certain soil conditions such as sandy soil but if
the soil is a clay-base soil the rain water will simply sit on top
of the surface until it evaporates.
Installing a trench drain is quite easy; most homeowners can
install a drain system during a weekend as a DIY project. In days of
old a French drain system was nothing more than a ditch willed with
field stones and covered with top soil and grass. There is very
little difference with the modern techniques of installing a French
How to Install a French Drain:
dig a wide trench, about two feet wide and two feet deep. Dig the
trench on a slope that leads away from your home, toward a back area
or along the property line where the water will drain into the
street storm drain system. The slope of the trench should rise at
the end so the water will drain to the surface at the point of
the trench is dug, place about 6 inches of crushed, ½ to 1 inch,
stone in the trench. Then install a flexible perforated drain pipe.
Then install about 6 to 12 inches of crushed stone on top of the
pipe. The idea is that the water will drain down through the stone
and into the pipe.
Finish filling the trench with top soil or sod, if you want grass to
grow over the drain trench. Installing a mesh screen over the last
layer of stone is not necessary but if you feel more comfortable
doing it please do so. The
water flowing through soil does not contain enough silt to clog the
drain drench or pipe.
Depending on the severity of your water problem
you may have to run the drain trench completely around the house.
The drain trench should be approximately ten to fifteen feet away
from the foundation and the ground around the foundation to the
drain trench should be sloped so water running off the house will
run toward the trench.
If you have gutters and a downspout system on
your house you should consider running underground drain pipe to the
drain trench so the roof run off will drain into the drain trench
system rather than down around the foundation wall and possibly into
your basement. This will help if not eliminate basement water
problems. If you need to dig an extensive trench I recommend that
you rent a small backhoe to do the job. It will save you a lot of
back pain and you will get the job done that much quicker. By
installing a French drain system you just may eliminate all your
yard water problems.
See related articles:
Installing Rain Gutters and Down Spout
Foundation Drain System