When Should You Use a French Drain?

If you’ve noticed that your yard is soggy or your basement is wet, then it may be time for a French drain to resolve these issues. At Pittsburgh Drain Guys, we’ve put together a guide on how they work, when you need to use them, and the different types of French drains that are available.

What is a French Drain & How Does it Work?

A French drain is a slightly sloped trench that is filled with gravel and a pipe that is used to collect water and divert it away from the home. They work on the idea that water always flows downhill and will flow through the easiest route possible.

French drains offer water an easy channel to flow through. When it rains, the water runs into the gravel-filled trench and is collected by the perforated pipe that rests at the bottom of a trench.

The water will travel easily through the pipe and then empty out into drainage away from your home. The trench of your French drain will be sloped about every inch for every eight feet in the direction the water needs to flow to drain safely. We will position your french drain to divert the water, depending on your situation, to areas such as:

  • Drainage ditch
  • Dry well
  • Street drainage
  • Low-lying area of your property

When Should I use a French Drain?

If you are having issues with surface water in your yard, such as a wet lawn, or you have a driveway that is washed out, then you will need a French drain to resolve the issue. Another reason you may need a french drain is if you are getting water in your basement.

We also recommend a French drain if you are installing a retaining wall on a hillside. This will prevent water pressure from building up and compromising the structure of the wall.

What Kind of Drainage Do I Need?

If you are having issues with a soggy yard or a washed-out driveway, then you need an exterior French drain. This type of French drain is installed outside of your home, horizontally across your property. It will rest directly uphill from the area you are trying to keep dry. It will work to divert the water to the proper drainage area rather than soaking it into the problem area.

If you have issues with water getting into your basement, then you need an interior French drain. This type of French drain will work to intercept the water as it enters the basement. This is the best way to keep your basement dry. Keep in mind if you have a finished basement, you will need to remove interior walls to install this type of drain.

We will cut a channel around the perimeter of your basement floor and then chip out the concrete. Once this is completed, we will install the perforated pipe all the way around the basement. Water will flow into the drain and then into a collection tank which will then be emptied out by a sump pump that carries that water to a storm drain.

French Drain Installation in Pittsburgh

At Pittsburgh Drain Guys, we specialize in the installation of French Drains for the interior and exterior of your home. Don’t continue to suffer from water in your basement or a soggy yard; contact our experienced team today to learn more!