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A Quick Guide To Crawl Space French Drain Installation by HydroHelp911, Charlotte, NC

Table of Contents

What are French Drains?

A French Drain is merely a slightly sloped ditch, a pipe with holes, and some pebbles. Nothing fancy. French Drains take benefit of the fact that water flows downhill via the route of least friction. The perforated pipe accumulates moisture, races it away from foundations or other low points on your property, and places it elsewhere.

You can imagine French Drains as funnels for groundwater. When it rains, all that water must go somewhere. It might soak into your foundation, ending in a wet basement or pool on your premises, causing wet spots here and there in your garden. French drains accumulate the water and move it to different locations. Your foundation dries out, and the damp places disappear.

Are French Drains efficient?

Yes, a French Drain is the most traditional and efficient method for guiding water away from your home or premises.

How do French Drains Work?

The theory behind a French Drain is simple. When it rains, the water crosses over the gravel and into the perforated, slightly-sloped tube. It then moves down the pipe and exits at a recommended location, such as a storm drain or a different area of your property. Thus, French Drains move water from one point (where you don’t want it) to another.

French Drain Use Cases

French Drains are excellent for moving groundwater away from your home or property. Typical scenarios include:

  • Wet basements created by waterlogged foundations – Groundwater stirring up against your home’s basement will eventually find its way within. The result is a damp foundation or even flooding. French drains are a fabulous way to reroute water away from your basement.
  • Soggy yard spots – Water can pool in specific areas and cause wet patches. A french drain installed below the moist location can collect the water and send it elsewhere. These french drains are often superficial, usually no more than a couple of meters deep.
  • You’re developing a retaining wall – Retaining walls are famous in landscaping projects and are utilized to create attractive landscapes and planting beds. The difficulty is they are impervious to water. The water measures 62.4 lbs per cubic foot. If you don’t implement a way for the water to drain, it will hold up against the wall and could ultimately cause it to buckle or crack. We should minimize excessive water pressure (hydrostatic pressure) adjacent to both engaging and basement walls to stop this from happening. 
Play: Video

French Drains Vs Swales

French drains act similar to swales, and you might discover the terms’ French Drain’ and ‘swale’ used correspondingly. However, they are not the same. A swale is a sloped trench filled with gravel. It does not contain a perforated tube. However, it works similarly. The water penetrates the gravel-filled gutter and later travels through it until it gets to the exit.

French Drains employ perforated tubes along with gravel. The perforated pipe accumulates the water and channels it to a proposed deposit location.

Watch our video – 

Placing French Drains

When it comes to establishing a French Drain, there are some basic actions:

  • Separate a layer of sod similar to the width and length of the trench you’re going to excavate.
  • Excavate the channel. The depth and width of the track will alter depending on the current circumstances and design of the building but will usually be at least 12 inches deep and 18-24 inches deep.
  • Cover the trench with precise, water-permeable seepage geotextile material. This filter cover keeps the crushed stone separate from the soil, preventing the pipe from getting clogged with trash. If this is done accurately, the French Drain should be maintenance-free.
  • Install the perforated pipe (PVC or adjustable with slits) into the fabric-lined tube.
  • Cover the line with crushed pebble or stone.
  • Cover the rock or stone with the geotextile material.
  • Connect fill to proper grade.
  • Restore the sod.

Maintaining French Drains

While a correctly installed French Drain shouldn’t demand any maintenance once it’s in place, there are several things every proprietor should be conscious of:

  • French drains can plug up with debris over time. Yes, the water-permeable waste fabric dramatically decreases the chance of this happening. It, however, occurs from time to time. In most cases, one can view the difficulty via a CCTV video inspection and then use a solvent such as hydro-jetting to clean it. 
  • The tubes used in French Drains can be corrupted by construction material or other vehicles passing over them. Therefore, they’ll need to be installed in an area free of vehicle transportation.
  • Like everything else in this atmosphere, groundwater conditions are subjected to change. If this happens, your current French Drain might not be sufficient to handle the pressure. You might need to introduce additional gutters or even dig up and restore the one you have.


No. French Drains ultimately wear out when soil and plant roots clog the rocks and the pipe apertures. Many online experts say French Drains typically work well for around seven years. Homeowners usually obtain support from contractors in sanitation and revitalizing French Drains. A well-maintained French Drain allows a highly cost-effective drainage solution.


No. Real estate buyers enjoy many potential landscaping benefits when they install French Drains. The surface of the French Drain may work as a pathway. In some areas, this site functions as a gravel-filled patio accent. Generally, skilled landscapers include the French Drain into a place so dramatically that the development enhances reality.


Yes. It may be important to temporarily remove the fence during French Drain installation in some cases, however. Also, French Drains sometimes resemble quite engaging, passing beneath fencing.


The effectiveness of a distinct French Drain alters on a case-by-case basis. In some circumstances, properties that comprise French Drains exclude all basement flooding concerns. However, a French Drain may form only one perspective of a basement waterproofing approach in other circumstances. For instance, the French Drain may help decrease the annual water seeping into a basement or a crawl space.


In most conditions, before attempting to install a French Drain, the owner should request an expert waterproofing inspection. Ask a waterproofing constructor to visit your home and assess the yard’s condition, the foundation, and any crawl spaces. Share learning about seasonal conditions (and seasonal flooding, if any) in your area. Also, a waterproofing review allows a comprehensive plan to improve adequate yard drainage and help sustain basements and crawl spaces in a dry, healthy situation. This plan may prescribe adding one (or more) French Drains to particular locations.

Contact the Experts

Crawl space French drain fitting can help you accumulate water that enters the crawl space for many goals. One of the most apparent reasons is hydrostatic pressure – due to groundwater penetrating or departing your home, hydrostatic pressure can force water through the foundation vents and into the crawl space. Crawl space French Drain installation will help deter this from happening by accumulating any moisture before it can infiltrate your home’s basement.

We’re HydroHelp911, and we’ve been providing geotechnical engineering and consulting services throughout North Carolina. Call us for a free evaluation and find out how a French Drain can answer your groundwater difficulties. 

HydroHelp911 will do everything we can to ensure your experience with us is outstanding. You deserve a secure home for your family without having to worry about rifts in the foundation or other fundamental problems that could lead to trouble. Let us assist!

Reach HydroHelp911 today to schedule your basement repair meeting by calling us at 704-396-5009.

Contact HydroHelp911 Today!

HydroHelp911 will do everything we can to ensure your experience with us is excellent.

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