A Guide to Proper Home Drainage Systems

3 min

If you have just built your home, you will need to install different types of home drainage systems. In general, there are two different types to choose from. One of these is called a French drain. The other is called an area drain. Each of these is going to serve a different purpose. They will also be positioned in different areas, depending upon where the drainage needs to be. These can help prevent flooding on your property, as well as direct the water to different areas, by simply installing these in place. Let’s first start with a French drain, followed by the area drain, and discuss where and why you should use them. Click blogs for other drainage tips.

What Is the Main Purpose for A Drainage System At Your Home?

As the name indicates, these are systems that are specifically designed to direct excess water. If you have ever seen a highway, and the way that it is designed, it is typically sloped and angled to direct excess water into the gutters. The same is true with gutters that you install on your home. These are placed right beneath the edge of the roof. This can help prevent dry rot or damage to the base of your home and direct all that water to a distant location.

Why Do You Need a French Drain?

When you install a French drain, you begin with digging a trench. It should be about 6 feet deep. There needs to be a layer of gravel at the bottom which will serve as a percolation system. There are holes in the pipes that you are putting into the trench. These pipes, because of the holes, allow the water to flow out. This will go onto the rocks below, and into the soil, while the excess water will flow to a distant location. These are typically placed behind the house that is close to an embankment. This will prevent the runoff from going directly into the lower level of the home or the basement. There is also a sump pump that may be used to further direct the water away.

Why Do You Need Area Drains?

These are used primarily to collect extra water from sprinklers or excess amounts of rain. As with the French drain, they are designed to redirect the water. There will be collection boxes, buried underneath a graded top, and there will be pipes connected. By creating this system, the water will flow in and subsequently out several hundred feet away in some cases. You need these to protect the front of your home from any potential flooding.

How Long Will These Take to Install?

The installation process is completely dependent upon the density of the soil, how deep the trench needs to be, and what type of materials and tools you have available. These can be quickly dug out with a backhoe, and with a team of professionals, can be installed in a matter of hours. If you are doing this on your own, and you cannot move large equipment to the back of your house it could be much longer. You may have to dig it by hand, or even use a Rototiller, to get deep into the soil. This is true, regardless of what drainage system you are installing.

How Can You Get the Materials?

If you want to get the tools, you likely have them in your shed. If you need a backhoe, you must rent this from someplace nearby. The perforated piping that is used for both types of drainage systems can be obtained at a local hardware store. You may be instructed to use what is called Geotech cloth. This is typically placed above the pipe. This will prevent root penetration. Additionally, on top of the pipes, you must place larger rocks, which can prevent the pipes from becoming clogged with smaller rocks over time. Each one of them may require some type of backup sump pump system. This can be ordered online or obtained at your local store. It might be advantageous to pay local kids to dig the trenches, or even have your own children help you. Once done, it will look as if nothing has changed. The only difference will be that areas that would have flooded before will no longer have that problem.

Installing French drains or area drains is not that hard to do. You simply need to see how it is done and replicate the process. Additionally, you may need to order tools or components that are not in your immediate area. Therefore, there would be a delay. Overall, it is a project that could take several days for each type of drain you are installing. Whether you do this on the weekend, or in your spare time, French drains an area drains serve a very meaningful purpose.

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