French drains are a very effective method of waterproofing basement walls. They are installed by skilled professionals who use equipment to drill straight into the ground for larger holes. The soil is then excavated and filled with top soil. A special drain membrane is then fitted to the hole, which is then set or “installed” by a licensed contractor. Drain pipes are then installed into the new holes and are connected to a gully system, which is used to move the water away from the house.
Most homeowners installing a French drainage system in their yard spend anywhere from one to three days to construct the system and install the pipes. Digging the yard to place utility lines is the first step. In many areas this requires using heavy equipment. Most homeowners will choose a “dry” site to dig their French drains because the soil will be relatively moist when digging a trench for utility lines. After digging the trench, workers will need to prepare the soil by clearing away any rocks or hillsides. Contractors usually make sure to place utility lines perpendicular to the trench to prevent damage to the lines while they are digging it.
Once the dirt has been prepared, workers will need to select the right location for the French drains by weighing the depth of the trench against the slope in the area. If necessary, workers will need to remove large rocks or obstacles to allow for the placement of the French drain line. Once the location is selected, the contractor will dig an inlet grate, which will serve as the foundation for the French drains. Contractors usually dig the inlet grate a few feet below the actual drain line to allow for the installation of the PVC pipe that will carry the water away from the house. Once the inlet grate is installed, workers will pour a layer of landscape stone or landscaping cement to act as a base for the new French drain line.
An installer must also prepare the landscape and any trees or other barriers before pouring the concrete mixture. The landscape stone or landscaping cement should extend several feet beyond the actual pipes to act as a strong support for the French drain pipe. Once the concrete mixture has been poured, it will be held securely in place by a series of pressure gauges and hydraulic valves. Finally, workers will connect the pipes with PVC pipes and carefully run the plumbing throughout the entire system. The final step involves using drain pipe fittings and sealing the fittings with silicone.
Installing French drains is a DIY project that most homeowners can tackle. However, it is best to work with a licensed plumber to ensure that the project is completed safely. Before starting the French drain installation project, it is important to get several free estimates from reputable contractors. A good contractor can help homeowners understand the ins and outs of the project and provide estimates based on specific measurements and materials.
In most cases, it is sufficient to install one French drain per foot of sidewalk and curb. However, if a homeowner installs too many drains, then the sewer and stormwater drainage systems could become clogged. When there are multiple drains in a row, the sewage can easily seep through and affect the ground water drainage system. Installing too many drains in a long row can create a dangerous situation.
If a homeowner wants to save money during the entire installation process, they can use a basement floor drain system. Basement floors are not usually suitable for installing French drains because it would block the natural flow of water in the basement. However, if the homeowner installs the French drain exit at the point where the French exit pipe ends, then the basement floor drain system can handle heavy rains without being affected. In addition, installing the drain outside the house will give homeowners more flexibility in unexpected situations.
One important thing to remember before installing the French drain is that the exit must be installed on an angle. This allows the drain to have a better chance of digging through. A typical installation should start at one inch from the bottom of the soil and slowly make its way up to three inches. In order to determine how deep to install the drain, professionals can use a model or diagram to determine how much space has to be left for the installation. If you need to install the drain deeper than one inch, consult your local plumbing code.