French Drains

French drains are usually thought to be an American invention, named after the person who popularized their use in the States, not before a country of birth. They were originally only constructed of terracotta roof tiles put one above the other to form somewhat crude drainage pipe which allowed water to leak from the bottom into the house. This was the ideal solution for a farm or farming community without city plumbing, or even for residences that had no means for city plumbing.

With the advent of homes with new construction and modern plumbing, French drains began to be installed inside the house in place of older concrete drainage systems. They are still used primarily for this purpose, but have become increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional foundation drainage systems. A French drain tile is basically a small and simple drain tile, made from terracotta, cement, or gypsum. It is installed directly over an existing foundation drainage system by drilling straight through the floor and pouring the material into place, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. To install it correctly, you need to use a drill bit that is specifically intended for drilling through concrete, as they tend to be more brittle than gypsum or cement tiles. (If you’re using a drill bit that is not designed for use with drainage materials, make sure you use the proper bit for the job, and get some advice from your home improvement store or contractor.)

The primary benefit of a French drain is that it can prevent soil from building up around basement floor drains, which can cause significant damage to the interior of your home. As soils form around drains, moisture from indoors can seep through and cause mold and mildew to form in the walls and flooring, which can make your home hazardous to live in. In addition, excess moisture can also deteriorate the quality of your insulation. It’s no secret that it’s a lot harder to insulate a wall than it is to clean one. A French drain can help prevent that problem.

Another important benefit of a French drain is that they can help reduce hydrostatic pressure on basement walls. This is when soil pressure and water pressure act in conjunction to cause your foundation to dip, thus draining liquids that have been saturated below the surface. (Think of plumbing pipes under your sink – hydrostatic pressure keeps them upright, even when you’ve run the hot water tap.) French drains can help prevent this from happening by diverting liquid materials away from the foundation.

If you choose to install a French drain in your basement, remember that you won’t be able to completely remove existing home soil from the inside of the walls. However, a French drain system can improve the look and functionality of your foundation repair job by moving it away from the walls and away from your foundation. A French drain also helps protect the flooring underneath your French drains, which may already be in poor condition due to water pressure or soil saturation. This will prevent water damage from occurring to your basement walls and floors. (If your existing home has not been damaged, this benefit may not be worth the cost.)

Now, if you do choose to install a French drain in your basement, you do need to know which type of drain you’re going with. Basically, there are three types of French drains: perforated pipe, disc type, and drum. Perforated pipe drains use a mesh screen to keep liquids from seeping into the pipe. Disc type drains have a plastic ring or other type of cover over the drain to keep solid materials from leaking out into the drainage system.

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Now, if you do choose to install a French drain in your basement, you do need to know which type of drain you’re going with. Basically, there are three types of French drains: perforated pipe, disc type, and drum. Perforated pipe drains use a mesh screen to keep liquids from seeping into the pipe. Disc type drains have a plastic ring or other type of cover over the drain to keep solid materials from leaking out into the drainage system.

 

If you’re not installing a French drain, don’t worry – most sump pumps and French drains are compatible. You just need to have the correct measurements to make sure the pump will fit. Note that French drains are wider than sump pumps, so don’t make the mistake of thinking you can fit a French drain in a sump pump that’s too small. If you must have a larger French drain in a smaller sump pump, you’ll probably need to add a larger size disc to the design. The biggest problem with this is the additional time required to install a larger drum.

If you do decide to use a French drain, you will probably want to dig a small hole for it and install it straight down in your basement floor. If it’s located above ground, make sure you remove the grass around it and set up the gravel in a clean area. Once you’ve located a good position for the gravel, pour a layer of concrete around it and then lay the new drainage pipe inside.

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