Professional Landscaping: Top 4 French Drainage Questions

Posted by kristin hutchins on Jan 21, 2013 1:02:00 PM

lawn cutting servicesWhat in the world is a french drainage system?

The earliest forms of drench drains were simple ditches, pitched from a high area to a lower one and filled with gravel. These were described and popularized by Henry French (1813-1885), a lawyer and Assistant US Treasury Secretary from Concord, Massachusetts in his book Farm Drainage. The system is designed to prevent water from flooding your basement. It is installed inside the basement, below the floor, around the perimeter. This french drain controls the water and discharges it out of the house.



When do you need a french drainage system? 

You can use a french drainage system to correct a variety of problems. If water collects or flows where it does not belong, it may cause damage to your foundation or seep into your basement. Perhaps your yard turns into a mire or a huge shallow pond after a hard rain. If, during heavy rains, water runs under your house or very close to your foundation, a french drain may be the solution. Finally, if your lot is located where the water table is very close to the surface, the best lawn care advice is to apply a french drain and it will help with seepage problems and protect your foundation.



How does a french drainage system work? 

Water always follows the path of least resistance. The gravel will allow the water to percolate to the bottom of the trench. The water then fills the trench rising to the heigth of the holes in the pipe. The water seeps into the pipe and flows down the channel between the holes away from the foundation.



Who installs french drainage systems?

Most medium to large sized landscape services install french drainage systems. Look for someone local and they will be more than happy to help.


There are several DIY videos on this very topic that will give you the lawn care advice needed. If you decide to go this route you will need the following:

  • spade

  • landscape fabric

  • gravel

  • sand

  • sod

  • string level

  • string

  • 2 stakes

  • tape measure

Tags: landscape services, lawn care advice, professional landscaping

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