Avalon Rooter

What You Need To Know About French Drains

November 29, 2023

A French Drain Could Be The Right Choice
For Your Yard In El Cerrito, CA

What You Need To Know
About French Drains

Have you considered a French drain in El Cerrito, CA as a solution to your groundwater problems?

If you’re having issues with water pooling in your yard around your East Bay Area home, you need to do something before the problem worsens.

Avalon Rooter understands this issue and wants to offer some information on French drains, which could greatly help solve this problem.

What Is A French Drain?

A French drain is a fairly simple concept. Water pooling on the ground beside a house or building is structurally dangerous. The damage that could be done to the foundation could cost a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort to repair.

A French drain will divert water away from your home or building to a safer area. In other cases, you can use a French drain to drain groundwater from gardens.

This is done not just to correct pooling water issues but also to prevent flooding in some situations.

How Does A French Drain Work?

French drains work by channeling water away from the house. There are a few steps involved in its construction.

Digging A Trench

A trench will need to be dug at the location. Normally this will be against the foundation of the home itself. Waterproofing the foundation where the french drain will be installed. Special attention should be paid to anything already installed underground before the trench is dug.

Planning the route of your French drain out ahead of time will make your life much easier.

The French drain itself will be installed at or just below foundation level. This is done to prevent water from reaching below that level, and catching it beforehand.

The trench should be 9 to 12 inches wide and have a slope of at least one percent.

The slope of the trench is important to allow the water to flow down the channel and drain out further away from the home instead of filling up the trench like a ditch.

The Right Type Of Pipe

With your trench dug, the pipe, which will carry water away from the area, can be laid. You will likely want to choose a perforated pipe.

Perforated pipes have small holes in them, allowing for water to quickly and easily move into and out of the pipe. Perforated pipes are well-suited for drainage systems.

Lining The Trench

At the bottom of the trench, you’ll need to lay a water-permeable filter fabric or a weed barrier. This is done to keep your trench free of many things, including dirt and sediment.

The filter fabric must be open when installed. Roughly a foot of excess should be left at the sides. This will come in handy later if needed.

After placing the lining, gravel should be poured along the bottom of the trench. Your pipe connections should be made, and the pipe will be extended toward the water’s exit point.

You’ll need to make sure the holes in the perforated pipe for drainage are pointed downwards as the pipe is laid down into the trench. This goes on top of the gravel sitting at the bottom.

After testing the pipe, it’s a repeat of what happened before. Gravel will be laid on top of the perforated pipe, and then the filter fabric should be wrapped over it.

None of this should come up higher than ground level.

Covering The Trench

Topsoil should be packed in to cover the trench until it’s completely covered.

After your French drain has been installed, you’ll need to cover it by reseeding the area or by other landscaping means.

Regular inspections of the inlet grate and outlet area should be done. Make sure to clean these areas if necessary to keep your French drain operating at its maximum efficiency.

We hope this helps you understand what a French drain is, how it works, and how one is installed.

If you want to have a French drain installed or require other plumbing services at your El Cerrito, CA home, call Avalon Rooter at 510-399-8744 for a free consultation.