Home improvement

French Drains and Its Importance

3 Mins read

French drains are constructed in order to prevent the foundation of a structure or house from getting damaged by underground or surface water. It might seem that this is not a potential crisis, but ignorance in this matter can cause some severe damage to the foundation. So people need to take the surface water effect seriously and try to construct French drains to deviate the water from the foundation to some other direction.

Every house owner must consider hiring a specialist to review this matter because it is a very complex thing that only a professional can find a solution to. Trying to do this construction by yourself is a big mistake and can cause damage to the foundation of the house; therefore, don’t ever try to deal with this thing by yourself. So in order to understand the french drains in detail, let’s discuss some aspects related to them:

What is a French Drain?

A french drain is like a trench that is filled with aggregate or rock, and it might also contain a perforated pipe. This drain is used to direct water away from your property. This type of drains is used in areas that are prone to flooding or surface water pooling. Installing a french drain in your property doesn’t require heavy tools and equipment; thus, it is cheap and affordable. They are usually installed near the edge of the building. But it is always recommendable to hire a specialist and take some advice from them regarding the french drain because it is necessary to avoid pipes and cables while constructing the drain.

Why is French Drains Important?

The most important reason for which you need to construct a french drain is to deviate the water that is building up against the walls of the house. If you ignore the water clogging near the walls, then the water will become the reason for the creation of damp internally. This, in turn, will slowly damage the house, putting the life of the residents in danger. Water clogging near the walls causes decay of brickwork and crumbling of mortar joints. Construction of french drain becomes very necessary when your house is old and was built many years ago. A French drain is a forward step to safeguard the house from getting damaged.

Planning a French Drain

Before planning to install a french drain on your property, you must take certain things into consideration. If you are not considering some specific things, your french drain may get blocked or not deviate the water in the direction you wish. In simple words, casual planning before installing a french drain can cause you trouble in the long run, so it’s always better to do efficient planning before everything.

In a landscape, water will always flow downwards towards the lowest point. Therefore, it is necessary to install or construct the french drain in the lowest point of the affected area, and this will allow the french drain to drain away the surface water and direct it towards the storm drain. Always remember that you should not replace an existing surface water drain with a new french drain.

If you are a house owner of an old building, then your foundation must have become shallow. In this situation, you must construct or position the french drain not less than one meter away from the walls of the building. This will safeguard the building from any structural damage that might occur due to the construction of the french drain. You have to think about this matter only if your house is old.

In order to avoid clogging in the drain, the size of the rocks used in the french drain must vary from the center to the outside. The rocks should be of coarse shape in the center and should be smaller in size on the outside.

Where to End a French Drain?

It would be best to make sure that the french drain ends at the lowest point of the trench. This will allow the flow of water from the water clogged area to the drain. You must make it long to take the water to a place where there is drier land or land which can absorb a lot of water.


French drains play an important role in safeguarding the house’s foundation and ensuring its survival for a longer period. A house owner must never ignore constructing a french drain in its property for the sake of his/her house.