A French drain may be your remedy if you have a waterlogged yard or a wet basement. Water always flows downhill, and by the easiest path possible. That’s the basic concept behind a French drain, a slightly sloped trench filled with round gravel and a pipe that diverts water away from your house. Henry French, a judge and farmer, promoted the idea in a 1859 book about farm drainage.
French drains provide an easy channel for water to flow through. Water runs into a gravel-filled trench, then into perforated pipe at the bottom of the trench. We recommend #57 washed gravel for this application. It is a smooth round stone that allows the water to percolate through to your drainage pipe. Water travels freely through the pipe, which empties at safe distance from the house.
When You Need a French Drain:
• When 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