When we think about getting a house, even if it is a simple thought of renting something; the things that emerge in our mind are not necessarily aesthetic, wall paint or renovation.

First thoughts are always practical, like whether the ceiling is leaking, or to ensure there are no molds, and whether the water supply is okay, aka the drainage system. The drainage system should be refined and up to the mark in any house.

One such fine drainage system is called the french drain system. But, you are right it is slightly complicated which is why it is so prone to mistakes. If you are wondering what are the common french drain mistakes, and how to avoid them then you have come to the right place.


What Is French Drain Installation?

French Drain Installation

French drainage is an easy way to remove the unwanted groundwater which mainly consists of a gravel-filled trench and a few perforated drainage pipes. The gravel collects the surface water, or from the wet soil and then seeps into the pipe that drains it.

What Does A French Drain Do?

A French drain is filled with gravel, and a perforated pipe fills the trench which allows water to drain from your garden in a natural flow. You may be able to purchase the equipment and pipes depending on the area of the garden and how much drainage problem you are facing to make a French drain yourself.

How To Install A French Drain System?

French Drain System Installation

Before you understand french drain mistakes you should learn the process of the French drainage system. Here is a step-by-step guidance of how it is done.

First Dig A Trench Which Is Wider Than The Pipe Of The Gradient

Choose a trench location that naturally goes downhill, or dig a trench with a 1% slope to create your personal slope. This will allow gravity to directly get the water to the destination of choice. Create a trench that is wide enough to hold the pipe with an aggregate jacket and a layer of the membrane.

Then The Water-Permeable Fabric Is Placed On The Trench

To do this, place the dough on the bottom and sides of the trench. On both sides of the trench, store enough cloth to put on the pipe, like wrapping a gift!

Fill The Bottom With Aggregate

Use a commercially available landscaping power pack to fill about one-third of the bottom of the trench. Larger aggregates ensure that water flows faster and probably less blockage, as all debris entering the system flows through the gaps in the aggregate. Aggregates with a diameter of 1-2 cm are generally ideal.

Then The Perforated Pipe Is Laid

Place the drainpipe of your choice along the perforated hole facing down. If you move it the other way around, the pipe won’t drain until it’s full. Use very strong and sturdy pipe connectors and couplings to extend the drain beyond the capability of the pipe to hold.

Then Add More Aggregate In The Trench

Shovel or dump a similar size aggregate on top of the trench pipe. This should be continued until the gravel is about 4 inches from the beginning of the trench.

Cover The French Drain With The Other Remaining Fabric

The landscape french drain fabric that was supposed to stick out from the end of the trench needs to be wrapped around the pipe and the aggregate. Make sure there are no or minimal gaps between the fabric and the edges.

This prevents dirt from getting into the drain and eventually clogging the system which is a very common french draining mistake.

Does French Drain Need Fabric?

The industry standard for French drains is 4 to 4.5 ounces of a non-woven drain. Avoid using perforated tubes wrapped in socks without a drain cloth. These can easily become clogged with dirt and dirt.

The Last Part Is To Hide The Drain

Hide Drainage Canal

You can now choose to put a soft layer of soil or the like on top of the French drainage canal without hiding that it is in it. This can be useful with agricultural applications where the location of the French outflow is important, and the appearance of the land is not important.

Someone added a layer of decorative aggregate after the landscaping fabric was wrapped around this system, as shown below. For residential and commercial projects that include gardens, parks, and other areas. Now this area can be covered with furniture if you have a french drain basement or grass if outdoors to hide work.

Do You Cover French Drain With Dirt?

You have to cover the trench pipe with 12 inches of washed gravel. Place the filter cloth on the gravel so that the soil does not clog the pipe.

Now, if you want to know What is the best way to install a French Drain then you can easily follow the above steps. 

French Drain In Basement

No, a french drain will not protect your basement from overlogging with water.

If you have a basement french drain installed then you will need to use a drifter to dig the soil in the trench.

When you have an outdoor French Drain along the perimeter of the foundation, it means heavy excavation to the base.

French Drain Mistakes

French Drain Installation Mistakes

Now that we have understood the installation process, it is time to learn and avoid these French drain mistakes.

Not Understanding The Direction Of The Water Flow

Here we would like to evaluate the flood-prone areas of your garden. Before starting the plan, it is necessary to establish a general direction of flow in the French drainage channel. It is important that the water flows in the right direction away from your home.

Overlooking Zoning Regulations

It is important that the French drain does not adversely affect the land or public areas. Both scenarios can lead to legal issues. For these reasons, you should check with your local building authority to avoid french drain mistakes.

Building codes, community rules, or zoning laws may limit drainage projects in your area. Therefore, it is important to check the plan with the local building, zoning, or homeowner authority.

When You Can’t Comprehend The Slope

This is another common among the French drainage mistakes.

A slope is required for the French drain to function properly. It is important for the slope to descend at a rate of 1%. This speed corresponds to a drop of 1 foot per 100 feet of French outflow.

Or, or the natural slope of the property is steep and may not be a problem. However, it is crucial to understand that steep slopes increase speed.

Using Wrong Kind Of Gravel

Proper drainage rocks are important for proper drainage and permeability. Therefore, around the natural stone is required as a filler.

This type of stone allows the material to flow better. Plus, with the right rocks, you don’t have to worry about debris clogging and breaking the French drain.

Trench Not Lined

It is also important to line the French drain with a cloth. Whenever possible, you should use continuous swaths to avoid french drain mistakes.

If not, you can stack the dough at least 12 inches. However, it is important to pierce the ground with staples to secure both ends of the cloth. When laying the dough, fold the excess on both sides and cut it off later.

How Far Away From Foundation Should A French Drain be?

This is a very common question people ask when they are trying to figure out the French drain mistakes.

It is recommended between 2 to 5 ft away when it comes to the foundation.

Final Words

French drain installation is very important when you are trying to prevent your house from flooding at all times.

These are the common french drain mistakes that you should try to avoid with the tips given. Hope we were able to solve some of the queries on this subject, let us know if you have any other questions and we will try our best to answer them.

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Deepanwita Dey
Deepanwita has always considered writing as the ultimate weapon to share every thought an individual ambles through. For her writing is not just an activity it’s a motivation for the scarred mind. She loves writing in genres like fashion, lifestyle, literature etc.

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