I want to show you how to put in a french drain, which will help keep water out of your basement and away from your house.
A french drain is what i call a surface drain, or a drain just below the soil level. For this one, the gravel is exposed, sometimes the french drain is covered with dirt or sand. I prefer to keep the gravel exposed.
What you need to put in a french drain
- Perforated pipe – either PVC or corrugated
- Filter sleeve for the pipe Avail Here
- Silt fabric – don’t cheap out on this Avail Here
- Clean 1/2″ or 3/4″ stone (aka gravel)
I was fortunate to have my neighbor bring his backhoe over and he dug a trench along the wall of the house where I have a water issue. You can also dig this by hand, its not hard unless there are a lot of rocks. I would dig down a minimum of 8″.
You want the trench to pitch toward where ever the water is exiting, aka going to ‘daylight’. The pitch can be very gradual, 1/4″ per foot is fine.
The first thing to go in the trench is the silt fabric. Run it all the way to the drain exit. Be sure there is enough on each side of the trench so it can fold over on itself after adding half the gravel.
Then lay in the perforated pipe. If you are using the PVC pipe, the holes along the pipe face DOWN, OK? Slide the filter sleeve over the perf pipe. Close off the filter sleeve at the top end of the trench and tuck the other end into the pipe itself when it connects to the solid drain pipe.
Shovel more stone over the top of the perf pipe about 2″ and then fold the silt fabric over itself on top of this gravel. Then add more gravel to bring it level with the ground. You can also bury a french drain, and grow grass on top of it. Be sure to put a grate over the daylight end of the pipe to keep animals from nesting in the pipe.
One more thing when you put in a french drain, do not connect any roof gutter downspouts to the drain pipe. The rain water can overwhelm the drain and fill the pipe and gravel with more water, when you are actually trying to drain the water.