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What is a French Drain?

What is a French Drain?

You would be forgiven for thinking all drains are the same. After all, once you’ve flushed your toilet or turned off a tap, no one’s going to be losing sleep about what happens next. 

However, there may come a time when you need to be able to identify the different types of drainage on your property. There are two main drain types you should be aware of, surface drains and French drains.

While you’re more likely to have an understanding of what a surface drain is, French drains can be slightly more complicated. 

This article will give you a comprehensive understanding of what French drains are, the benefits they can bring to a property and what to do if you have a problem with your French drains.   

What is a French Drain?

A French drain is essentially a small trench filled with aggregate that is designed to move water away from a property. Sometimes, due to the land a property has been built on, rainwater doesn’t drain away correctly and French drains can help it to disperse and prevent flooding from impacting your home. 

It’s commonplace for people to install a French drain in their garden or driveway, as these areas are particularly susceptible to flooding.       

What is a French Interior Drain?

Sometimes it may be necessary to install a French interior drain. These rare instances will come about when there isn’t enough space, or it is too difficult to install an orthodox French drain.

Typically, the only circumstances in which a French interior drain would be used is when a home’s basement is regularly flooded. While this doesn’t stop water from entering a basement, the structure will catch all of the water, meaning the room will remain dry at all times.

Sometimes, walls will need to be moved in order to install French interior drains, so it’s always important to hire professional drainage experts such as Express Clear if you’re considering having one installed.     

What Are the Benefits of a French Drain? 

Undoubtedly the main benefit of French drains is that they protect your property from flooding. The more a building floods, the more likely it is that you will encounter further problems such as brickwork becoming damaged and mould forming in your home.

As well as this, they’re also among the easiest and most cost-effective drainage solutions out there. 

Where to End a French Drain?

Another thing that must be considered when installing French drains is where you end the drain, which will also decide where the water goes. It’s vital that the drain ends at the lowest point for the water to be able to flow in a downward motion with a slope of no less than a 1% gradient. 

If your French drain is located in your garden or home, it is sensible to have the end of the drain close to the start in order to save on costs, but it still needs to be long enough to take the water to a drier area. 

The most suitable areas to end your drain include:

  • Existing rain gutters
  • Gravel pits or dry wells filled with gravel stones 
  • A specific soakaway system 

Drainage Services From the Experts  

At Express Clear, we can provide a wide range of drainage services to domestic and commercial properties throughout Doncaster. If you want to install a French drain, need one maintained or require any other services such as drain jetting, CCTV drain surveys, repairs or anything else, get in touch with our team today.


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