Water Seeping into your house? You need a French Drain!- Oklahoma City, Altus, Chickasha, El Reno

Posted: November 15, 2013 in Drain Repair, Drainage System, french drain, French Drain Contractor
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French Drain

French Drains can look great!
French Drains can look great!

Just what is a “French Drain?”  Many times people incorrectly use the phrase, “French Drain,”  to apply to many different types of Drains that could be used in a Drainage System.  The term is widely used and many times incorrectly connected to “Surface Drains,” or “Channel Drains.”

A Surface Drain has a grate that sits on top of a basin.  The basin is underground.  A Drain Pipe is connected underground to an outlet on the Drain Basin.  Storm-Water Drains through the grate into the Drain Basin.  Once in the Drain Basin, water travels out of the basin through a Drain Pipe.  The Storm-Water continues downhill in an underground Drain Pipe to an exit point.

THIS IS NOT A FRENCH DRAIN!

Surface Drain may come in many different shapes or sizes.  The Drain Grate may be round or square.  Here is a picture of a common Surface Drain.

A Channel Draiis a type of Surface Drain and many times is installed in concrete across sidewalks or driveways.

A French Drain is completely different from a Surface Drain.  A basic French Drain consists of a Perforated Drain Pipe in the bottom of a trench.  The Drain Pipe should have a neoprene sock around the Perforated Drain Pipe.   This is to ensure that the Drain Pipe does not become clogged.

The dirt that was taken out to make the trench is hauled away.  It is replaced by some type of small stone or gravel depending on what is desired or available.  I prefer crushed 1 inch lime stone.  It is the most economical option in my area.  Pea Gravel or some other type of small stone can work just as well.    The lime-stone or gravel is placed in the trench on top of the perforated Drain Pipe and filled all the way to the surface (ground level).   In some cases where the French Drain needs to be deep or is being placed in sandy soil, a special trench liner must be placed in the trench before the perforated Drain Pipe or the Gravel are installed.  This helps maintain the integrity of the trench over time.  It also increases the cost of the French Drain and the amount of time to install it.  I install a trench liner in a French Drain about 20% of the time.  Most of the time a liner in not needed.

A French Drain is designed to handle a large volume of water and cover a large area. The Drain is anyplace the trench goes. It has many applications and can be used in many situations.  It can be installed by itself or incorporated into a Drainage System with Surface Drains or Gutter Down-Spouts connected to it.
The main downfall of a French Drain is, that they, for the most part aren’t very pretty.  They don’t look very nice in a yard once they are completed.
Depending on the area the French Drain is installed and the type of grass around the French Drain, will dictate whether grass grows over the lime stone.  Grass can grow up and through the gravel in the French Drain over time eventually covering the gravel.  This is Ok.  It won’t have a measurable effect on the performance of the drain.
DON’T COVER THE GRAVEL IN THE FRENCH DRAIN WITH DIRT.  THE FRENCH DRAIN WON’T WORK IF THE TRENCH IS CLOGGED WITH DIRT.  DON’T EVEN INSTALL IT IF YOU ARE GOING TO COVER IT UP WITH DIRT.  PUTTING DIRT OVER A FRENCH DRAIN IS LIKE PUTTING A CORK BACK IN A BOTTLE.

DECORATIVE STONE CAN BE USED TO COVER A FRENCH DRAIN AND THEY LOOK GREAT AND LAST A LIFETIME.

French Drain with colored river rock along foundation

 

Drainage Trench from French Drain in Backyard to Street in Norman

Drainage Trench from French Drain in Backyard to Street in Norman

Do you have water seeping into your floor vents after a hard rain?  Is water causing damage to your floors or carpet?  Is water finding a way under your foundation after a thunder storm?  Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair designs and installs Drainage Systems that can help stop the damage.  We utilize:  French Drains, Surface Drains, Channel Drains, and Sump Pumps to protect property.  Connecting gutter-downspouts into the Drainage System is always a good idea where possible.

The need for Drainage Systems is increasing in Oklahoma.  During heavy thunder storms,   homes and business need a way to drain water away Storm water can cause many kinds of damage.  Here are just a few:

1.  Driveways and Sidewalks can crack and deteriorate

2.  Foundations can crack move or shift

3.  Vents and ducts can fill with water

4.  Mold can be allowed to grow

5.  Trees and Plants and grass can be damaged or drown

Too much water is never a good thing!

Oklahoma can quickly diagnose your Drainage Problem and provide a free quote for a Drainage System.  With twenty years of experience, we realize that Drainage Problems may be very complex and difficult or very straight forward and simple.  Every Drainage Problem is unique to a certain degree.  Don’t kid yourself,  Experience Counts!

We take many things into account when providing a Drainage Diagnostic for a Customer.  We determine:

1.  What is the Primary Water Source to the problem?  Where is the water coming from?

2.  Is there a Secondary Water Source?  Other Places that water may be coming from.    All Drainage Problems have more than one source!

3.  How many Subsequent Water Sources are present?   Some complex Drainage Problems have many water sources.

4.  What exit points are available for gravity to move water away from the problem area?  Where are we trying to take the water to, and how is it

going to be released?  Is more than one exit point possible to increase capacity?

5   How much water must be moved?  What Size Drain Pipe is necessary to lessen the chance of being overwhelmed by flooding?    This is a tough

consideration.  (Larger Pipe – Larger Cost to Install)

These are just a few of the considerations for any Drainage System Diagnostic.

DSC00490
4 Inch Drain Pipe running under sidewalk
DSC00499
Drainage System running to exit point on driveway

The Drainage System shown in the three above pictures consisted of the following:

Three Gutter Downspouts in the front yard were connected to 4 inch ADS solid Drain Pipe with Large Drainage Gutter Connections.  Three lateral 4 inch Pipes were run from each gutter to one outflow pipe moving the water to two exit Pop Up Emitters. One of the Drain Pipes ran under the sidewalk to reach the Exit Drain Pipe.

This Drainage System had two exit points.  One Pop-Up Emitter was on the edge of the driveway in the front yard.  The other Pop-Up Emitter was installed in the back yard near the property line.  Two exit points allows for a much larger Water Drainage Capacity.  (During Heavy Rains The Drainage System Can Move More Water Faster)

The back yard Exit Pipe then connected to 55 feet of 4 inch French Drain that was installed along the SW corner of the house.  The French Drain provided a protective barrier for that room of the house where water had previously been leaking into the floor vents.  Two Gutter Down Spouts were also connected in the back yard to the Drainage System.

Comments
  1. […] “lightning burning up a sprinkler controller” or,  “a customer running over a sprinkler head with their […]

  2. […] Standing water comes from many sources.  It causes damage to  sidewalks, driveways, and foundations not to mention plants, trees, and  grass.  Does the side of your house flood because your neighbor doesn’t  have gutters, or does your sidewalk turn into a moat after a heavy rain,  or worst of all, does water seep into your foundation and duct work  after a thunderstorm.  Theses are just a few of the Drainage  Problems that CMG  can help with.  CMG can design a Drainage  System to fit your specific needs.  We install many types  of Drains  to solve many types of problems.   CMG utilizes: French  Drains, Surface  Drains, Channel  Drains, Basement  Drains, Trench Drains, Basin Drains, and Sump  Pumps. […]

  3. […] The two most common exit points for a Drainage System are a Pop-Up Emitter or a Curb Fitting. A Pop-Up Emitter is a Fitting on the end of a Drain Pipe that has a lid that pops up and releases water. When water […]

  4. […] The two most common exit points for a Drainage System are a Pop-Up Emitter or a Curb Fitting. A Pop-Up Emitter is a Fitting on the end of a Drain Pipe that has a lid that pops up and releases water. When water […]

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