Quick Answer: Are French Drains Good Or Bad?

Do French drains cause mold?

Water damage, when left unaddressed, can cause more severe problems as it can compromise the integrity of the structure of your home, and lead to mold and mildew growth, which can adversely affect the health of your family..

Do French drains get clogged?

Despite the design’s best efforts, French drains get clogged by dirt, debris and silt. They do need to be cleaned out regularly – about once per year – to ensure that they continue to direct water away from the building’s foundation.

What are French drains used for?

French drains are primarily used to prevent ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging building foundations and as an alternative to open ditches or storm sewers for streets and highways.

Do French drains need an outlet?

A properly designed French drain system does not require an outlet. The water will simply soak into the soil as it flows along the perforated pipe. In fact, a French drain doesn’t require an inlet on just one end either. You can construct the drain to accept water along its length, and disperse it underground.

How do you clean French drains?

How to Unclog a French DrainStep 1: Locate an end of the French drain. … Step 2: Use a garden hose to run water down the French drain. … Step 3: Use a pressure washer to unclog the drain, which will use high pressure to send water down the drain. … Step 4: Use a sewer snake for stubborn clogs.

What size gravel is best for French drain?

Basic Gravel Bottom Gravel used for this layer is typically 1/2 inch to 1 inch across — the larger it is, the better the water flow and less chance of clogs and blockages. For a French drain without a perforated pipe, opt for even larger gravel, such as 1 1/2 inches across.

Can you build a French drain without pipe?

Installing a French Drain Without a Pipe When you omit the pipe from a French drain, you’ve basically got a trench drain. … If your soil drains well, you can simply dig the trench and cover the bottom with 3 to 4 inches of 3/4-inch drainage rock, depending on the depth of the trench.

Which is better sump pump or French drain?

An interior French drain is much less likely to clog than an exterior, partially due to the fact that it is not sitting underneath several feet of soil. Then we come to the sump pump. … A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in water collecting sump pit, commonly found in the basement of homes.

Is a French drain a good idea?

Operating under the natural tendency of water to run downhill, French drains are a simple yet effective way to reroute water and ensure your crawl space and belongings stay dry, or your yard and driveway are usable. Water flows into a ditch or trench that contains a perforated pipe, which is covered with gravel.

How long do French drains last?

approximately 30 to 40 yearsGenerally speaking, a French drain will last approximately 30 to 40 years. However, the above-mentioned factors may shorten its life cycle and it must then be replaced by a team of foundation experts.

Why do French drains fail?

Over time, a French drain may become clogged. Tiny soil and clay granules slip through the pores of the landscape fabric and gradually build up inside the pipe. Another common cause of French drain clogs is root intrusion from grass, shrubs, and trees.

How far should a French drain be from the house?

A French drain consists of buried perforated pipes slightly sloped to easily channel water flow, in this case, away from the house foundation. Start by digging a 2-foot-deep-by-18-inch-wide trench 2 feet or so away from the foundation at the highest point where the rear yard meets the foundation.

How do I know if I need a French drain?

When You Need a French DrainWhen you have a problem with surface water, such as a soggy lawn or a driveway that washes out.If water is getting into your basement.If you’re building a retaining wall on a hillside.

Where do you end a French drain?

Which End is Up? The two ends of a French drain system are: The drain field, or high end, where excess ground water enters the drain pipes. The drain exit, or lowest point, where water leaves the system.

How deep should I dig a French drain?

French drain depth: About 8 inches to 2 feet deep should be sufficient for many water-diverting projects, though related systems, such as those built around foundations and sub-ground living spaces, as well as the bases of retaining walls, may be deeper.