How Do I Know If I Need a French Drain?

A French drain, named for Henry French (not the country), can be just what you need if you have water problems either around your house or in the crawl space. You can always ask a professional if a French drain will solve your water woes, but there are questions you can answer for yourself that will give you a good idea and you’ll be better informed if you decide to install one.

What Is a French Drain?

There are a few types of French drains, explained below, but they all serve one purpose. They collect unwanted water and send it to a place that won’t affect your home or yard, such as a drainage ditch, dry well or the street.

Operating under the natural tendency of water to run downhill, French drains are a simple yet effective way to reroute water and ensure your crawl space and belongings stay dry, or your yard and driveway are usable.

Water flows into a ditch or trench that contains a perforated pipe, which is covered with gravel. The ditch is gently sloped, by about one inch every eight feet. Water enters the ditch, filters through the gravel, enters the pipe and then flows freely through the pipe to a designated place away from your home.

Do Any of These Situations Apply to You?

If the water problems at your home along the Eastern Maryland shore fall into any of these categories, then a French drain is a viable solution.

  • You Have Water in Your Crawl Space

Water in your crawl space is never a good thing. Aside from damaging your home and your belongings, water promotes mold and mildew that can cause further property damage and harm your indoor air quality, leading to allergy exacerbation and other illnesses.

For water in your crawl space, you can install either a deep French drain around the exterior of your home or an interior French drain. An interior drain is often the less expensive and more effective solution. In either case, a sump pump may be necessary to provide a place to collect the water and pump it up and away from the house.

  • You’ve Got a Soggy Yard or a Washed-Out Driveway

If you’re tired of waiting for your lawn to dry out to enjoy your yard or shoveling your driveway back into place after every rainstorm, you probably want to look into a French drain. Not only will you be better able to enjoy your property, but think of the frustration you’ll be able to avoid in the future! A shallow French drain will intercept the water and direct it around and away from the problem area.

  • You’re Building a Retaining Wall

If your retaining wall is on a hillside or slope, you’ll want to install a French drain behind the first course of the wall to keep water from building up at the bottom or running toward your house.

Ready to Talk About A French Drain for Your Home?

Call the experts at Total Home Performance. Our experienced, certified professionals will inspect your property and take your entire situation into account in order to provide informed advice on the most effective solution for your home’s specific water problem.

Get unwanted water out of your way with a French drain for your home. Contact us or call (410) 822-1390 today to schedule an appointment.

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