What is a French Drain and Why Do You Need One In Your Yard?
Too much water can weak havoc on your yard and your basement or crawl space. When you get a lot of rain or you over-water your lawn, that water needs a place to go. Because most homes in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware areas are built on dirt that is full of gravel and clay, both of which drain really poorly, your yard can “flood” pretty easily.
This can lead to:
- Your lawn being destroyed because the roots become saturated and rot (this is a tough problem to fix because it is nearly impossible to “Dry” your yard on your own)
- A wet, soggy yard (this can be an unhealthy situation because standing water and moisture attracts mosquitoes and other harmful pests)
- Foundation problems (a saturated yard causes the ground around your home to expand, putting pressure on your home’s foundation. This pressure leads to cracks and bowed walls)
- Flooded basement or crawl space (water finds the easiest path into your home. Usually, this is through the cracks in your foundation. In the case of your crawl space, excess water in your yard can easily get in)
How a French Drain Helps
A french drain is placed in an area where water would not flow naturally. If you have a flat yard, this type of drain is a must. A long trench is dug and a drain placed inside, then it is covered with rocks or stones.
This takes the water out of your yard and moves it away from your home. The water can be diverted to a lower lying part of your yard, a drainage ditch, storm drains on the street or into a well. Any time you can move water away from your home’s foundation you take a big step in preventing flooding, cracks, mold growth in your cellar and other water problems.