What Is a French Drain and How Do I Know if I Need One?

Updated June 10, 2019

What Is a French Drain and How Do I Know if I Need One?

A French drain is usually installed in a home that is encountering water problems. Do you notice water pooling in your yard after heavy rains, standing water in your yard, or have you noticed water seeping into your home’s foundation after a rainstorm?  

The French Drain

To put it simply, a French drain is a pipe that is covered in a layer of rock under the soil. A French drain carries water or rainwater onto another sloped area so that pooling in order to stop pooling in a yard or close to a house’s foundation. There are various kinds of French drains, but all have the same function. The main point of having a French drain is to collect all the water residue and transfer it to another part of your home or drainage so that the excess water will not damage your home or yard. French drains are an effective method for rerouting water so that everything in your home and its area stays dry.

How Does It Work?

The French drain works in a way where water flows into a trench that consists of a perforated pipe that is covered with rock or gravel. The trench is mildly sloped, and as water enters the trench, it will then start to filter through the gravel. As it enters the pipe, it will now be able to flow freely into a designated area that is away from your house or yard.

Do You Need A French Drain?

You can always consult a professional, but below are some sure signs that indicate you needing a French drain:

1. Water In Your Crawl Space
Having water in your crawl space can end up damaging the items in your home, and even your house itself. Because too much water can aid in the development of mold and mildew that can possibly damage your home, and even lower the quality of the air inside it. This can contribute to the risk of allergies and other respiratory diseases. If you have water in this area, you can choose to install your French drain around your home’s exterior. You may also need to install a sump pump as well. This is so that you will have a place to collect water that can pump it away from your home.

2. Flooded/Soggy Backyard or Driveway
Do you often experience pooling in your yard? Or do you often have to wait for your lawn or yard to dry out after every rainfall or rainstorm? Do you have to shovel the water in your driveway after every storm as well? If you find yourself agreeing to all these questions, then it might be time to install a French drain. Installing a French drain will address all these issues, and you won’t have to worry about all the frustration you have to face. You can build a French drain that will redirect all the overflow of water in the problem areas.

3. Constructing A Retaining Wall
Installing a French drain is also necessary if you are going to build a retaining wall along a hillside. This is so that the water that will be moving downhill won’t end up getting accumulated, which will end up weakening the wall.
Outdoor Patio Damage
Outdoor patios are a great place to bond with your family, and having excess water in the area can ruin it. It can even become a breeding area for mosquitos as well. What you can do to combat this problem is to install a French drain so that water can be collected and redirected into another direction.