A French drain system can be the ideal solution for Toronto area homeowners who are dealing with a wet basement and/or soggy yard. Water naturally flows downhill and always takes the easiest route it possibly can. This concept is basically what’s behind a French drain system as it’s a trench which is sloped slightly and filled with a pipe and round gravel which diverts the water away from the building. The concept was invented by a 19th-century American named Henry French and is still an effective system today.
The French drains gives water an easy avenue to flow through. It runs into the gravel-filled trench and then flows into a perforated pipe which is sits at the bottom of the trench. The water can travel quite freely through this pipe and its emptied from the home at a safe distance. In general, the bottom of the trench should slope approximately one inch for each eight feet in the direction you’d like the water to flow. The water can then be emptied to a drainage ditch, a low-lying section of the property, the street or a dry well etc.
Those who are dealing with surface water and soggy areas of their property can benefit from a French drain system as can those who suffer from wet basements. When it comes to soggy areas, the French drain, which is also known as a curtain drain, runs horizontally across the property and uphill from the area which you’d like to dry out. The drain doesn’t necessarily need to be deep as most of them are about two feet in depth and approximately 1.5 feet across. If the drain has to pass through treed areas or shrubbery a solid pipe can be used to make sure roots don’t grow into it and clog it.
With a wet basement, a deep French drain is a good option. This system is also known as a footing drain. It is located at footing level and runs around the home’s perimeter. This enables it to catch the water before it’s able to flow into the basement. These systems are easy to install during the construction of a building, but can also be added later if necessary. If the basement is tall then the foundation footing may be quite a few feet down. In some instances, landscaping, walkways and decks may have to be taken out to install the drain. If there isn’t enough slope for the system to be effective the water may need to be sent via a sump pump to the storm drain system.
Interior French Drain
The interior French drain is designed to intercept the water as flows into the basement and is considered the best option when it comes to a dry basement. If the basement is finished though it means the interior walls will need to be moved before the system can be installed. A channel is cut around the basement floor’s perimeter and the concrete is chipped out. Perforated pipe is then installed all the way around. This sends the water to a collection tank which is sunk into the floor and it’s sent to a storm drain or the yard by a sump pump. The channel contains a thin concrete layer except at the edge and this catches water which may dribble down the wall.
If you’re interested in learning more about French drain systems please contact our team of professionals at Nusite. We’ll be glad to answer all of your questions and schedule a house call to discuss your unique situation. A French drain may be just the thing you’re looking for if you basement is continually wet or your property consists of soggy areas which won’t dry out.
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