Putting In A French Drain On Your Property? Avoid Problems With These Tips
French drains, named after the farmer who first wrote about them, can be useful if your yard doesn't drain properly and you want to avoid excess water around the foundation of your house. If you want to install such a drain yourself, it can be done, but you've got to keep a few things in mind so that you don't run into problems. Use three tips below to ensure that the drain goes in properly and you can steer clear of any difficulties.
Call Your Utility Companies
As always when you start a project that involves digging, it's wise to get in touch with your cable, water, electric and other utility companies to alert them about your project. They can dispatch a technician to your home who will be able to use flags to mark underground cables and lines so that you won't damage them when installing the drain. When you can see where the lines are, you can opt to put the drain somewhere on your property where it won't interfere with the utility services you use and receive.
Set Wood Planks or Plastic Tarps on Either Side of the Trench
Before putting in the PVC pipe, you'll have to dig a trench for it. This can be a messy process, because you'll have to deposit the soil on either side of the trench as you go along. After you're done digging, you'll have to find something to do with all the extra soil. To make things easier for yourself and avoid clutter on your work site, set wood planks or plastic tarps on each side of the trench you plan to dig. That way, the extra soil can go right on them and when you're done, you can simply move the tarps or the planks out of the way as you continue working. You can then use that soil for another project later.
Lay Geotextile Fabric in the Trench
Many people who put in French drains simply drop the PVC pipe into the trench. However, that might be problematic after the drain is completed, as plant roots and soil may clog the pipe or cause it to become cracked over time. To stop this from happening, it's a smart idea to use geotextile (also called landscape) fabric in the trench first. The fabric will protect the pipe. After putting the pipe down, you might choose to add another layer of fabric on top before filling in the rest of the trench with pebbles or gravel.
Putting in a French drain system can be easier when you adhere to the tips described above. Consult a contractor in your neighborhood if you have specific questions about installing the drain on your land.