Installing a French drain

by | Jul 30, 2014 | Home And Garden

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In simple terms a French drain is little more than a ditch filled with gravel or rocks and helps to drain water from a particular area on a piece of property. The system, first discussed in an 1859 book written by a farmer by the name of Henry French, has been in use for centuries, there is ample evidence of the concept being adopted in ancient Rome. Although there have been improvements in French Drains in Park Ridge over the years it is still one of the most effective ways of redirecting water.

French drains in Park Ridge are used in landscaping projects or to provide protection of a building foundation from surface water. They are also used to drain water away from a septic system as well as a backup for a retaining wall.

To install a French Drain the first thing is to determine where it should be and how long it should be. This initial planning is followed by digging the trench, lining it and covering it.

A French Drain is typically built in an area where the adjacent land is higher and water runs off and collects at the bottom of the slope. The French Drain is dug parallel to the sloping hillside, headed to a place where the water can be channeled without causing any other problems. When the problem happens on a residential lot the trench that is dug is usually sloped in the direction of the street where the water empties harmlessly into the gutter. A common alternative is to direct the drain towards an area of sandy soil where the water can quickly dissipate and not form a pool.

French Drains in Park Ridge are usually little more than six inches wide and no deeper than need be. To start the drain stakes are driven in the ground where the drain will start and finish. A string is fixed between the stakes and made level. As the trench is being dug it should slope downwards at a grade of about one percent. If the trench is 100 feet long it will drop one foot from one end to the other, as the trench progresses measure from the level string to maintain the correct slope.

Once the ditch has been completed line it with landscaping fabric and add a layer of gravel and then add a further layer of fabric. The fabric keeps debris from eventually clogging the gravel; cover the gravel with sand to the level of the surrounding, cover the sand with sod and tamp it down; the French Drain is now completed.

French drains in Park Ridge are but one of the methods used in landscaping to ensure the proper movement and disposal of rainwater and water from higher elevations. If you are looking for a company that does sustainable landscaping you are invited to call Green Gardens Landscape & Installation, Inc.