Ideally, water from rain would easily drain away from your house, eliminating any worries about water damage, flooded basements, problems with the foundation, and mud-covered lawns.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in most properties, forcing homeowners to look for a different drainage solution. This is where the French drain enters.

Continue reading to find out the advantages of having a French drain.

Overview of the French Drain

French drains bear the name Henry French after the Massachusetts judge and farmer who originally described them in 1859.

The concept was straightforward: by creating an accessible path for the water, get it away from the areas where it tends to collect. This drainage path is entirely subterranean, unlike a ditch.

A perforated pipe is tucked away in a ditch that serves as a French drain. Gravity draws water that collects on the surface above through the gravel and into the pipe, where it drains out the other end.

How French Drains Operate

Water always chooses the route with the least amount of resistance. While a steep hill is the best place to drain water, drainage issues arise in flatter places.

French drains get around these problems by establishing a conduit that directs the water to an area where it is no longer an issue, such as a storm drain or rainwater collection system.

By adding layers of gravel, the French drain encourages groundwater to seep into the drain. Once the water has soaked into the earth, it immediately enters the pipe because water moves through gravel more quickly than soil.

A permeable fabric keeps debris out of the pipe, allowing for optimal drainage capability and preventing gravel or other unwanted materials from entering.

When to Think about Putting in a French Drain

Consider a French drain as the ideal remedy for your water problems. Here are some typical issues that a French drain can help with.

? Foundation Damage because of Bad Drainage

A French drain might permanently solve the issue if flooding or fundamental damage occurs in your home because of rain, snowmelt, or groundwater.

To drain the water away from the house, an outside French drain that has been constructed properly will go around the entire base of your house.

This requires installing the entire drain at an angle that encourages drainage. This particular style of French drain, often known as a weeping tile system, is used to release hydrostatic pressure from the foundation walls.

Installing an inside weeping tile might be more advantageous if water becomes a problem. In order to divert water into a French drain that surrounds the internal perimeter of the foundation, it is necessary to place drainage boards along the external walls.

The drain then directs the water toward an outdoor drain or sump pump to exit the house.

? Water Pressure on Retaining Walls

Hydrostatic pressure can damage retaining walls, much like it affects foundation walls. Hydrostatic pressure is relieved by installing a French drain on the upper side of a retaining wall and routing it to drain away from the wall.

? Overflowing Surface Water or Flooding

After rainy weather, does your lawn or garden retain an excessive amount of surface water? Perhaps installing a French drain will help you restore your yard.

You can place drains in the ground anywhere water tends to accumulate, even though French drains are intended to extract groundwater from along the pipe via perforations.

In this manner, both water that is currently in the ground and any water that may enter it are swiftly removed by the drains.


The French drain can be advantageous for many people. Some benefits of having a French drain include improved drainage, reduced flooding, and reduced soil erosion.

If you’re considering a French drain for your home, be sure to consult with a professional to ensure it’s the best option for your specific needs.

You can trust Todd Heldt Excavating, Inc. for construction needs like French drain and asphalt driveway in Granite Bay. We’re a successful paving contractor and asphalt company offering asphalt driveways, paving, grading, and road construction.

Contact us now to receive quality work and customer service!