French drains are a popular landscaping solution for drainage problems today, and they have the additional benefit of adding a unique look to your yard. This type of drain is also alternatively referred to as a rock drain or a rubble drain, because the most visible part of it is usually made entirely from small rocks. Keep reading to learn more about what a french drain is and how it can be a great landscaping tool for your yard.
How a French Drain is Created
French drains are created by digging a trench, which is at least 5 to 6 inches wide and 8 to 12 inches deep. The trench will typically begin a few inches from the perimeter of the house, or at a point close by.
The length of the french drain will vary depending upon the size of the property and the point where you want to divert the water to. If you wish to divert water to the street, the french drain will extend all the way from the outside of the home to the very edge of the street. Alternatively, some property owners may have wells where they divert the water.
The trench is completely filled with closely packed gravel. The water will wash through the gravel and down the trench without causing any earth erosion as it moves since the water never touches the soil.
When a French Drain May Be Necessary
The main reason that you may need a french drain is excess water in and around your home. For example, if you have a problem with water constantly entering your basement, that water needs to be diverted safely away from the foundation of your house.
Another example: If you have frequent heavy rainfall, but only a marginal drainage system in place, you may need a french drain for more serious drainage. Even if you have a decent drainage system but find that your lawn is perpetually soggy, a french drain may be a good way to dry your yard out in between heavy rains.
A french drain will be clearly visible on your property due to the distinct line it makes in the yard. While it does interrupt the appearance of the lawn, a well constructed french drain can also be quite an attractive landscaping feature on your property. Ask your local landscape designers like Weiler's Lawn & Landscape about how you can add a bit of French flair to your landscape with a french drain today!