What Are French Drains and How Can They Protect Your Home?

French Drains in San Diego, CA

Water problems in low-lying areas of a home are a common issue. Some people opt to use sump pumps to eliminate excess moisture and prevent the development of standing bodies of water. However, in certain instances French drains might prove to be a far more effective solution. Located on the exterior of a home, these drains are designed to divert water away from a property before it gets into the basement or renders landscaped areas unusable. The staff at American Tri-Star San Diego is here to educate you about this useful drainage system.

Do French Drains Originate from France?

The term French drain might bring to mind something decorative and ornate, but this isn’t an aesthetically driven home addition borrowed from France. The French drain is named after Henry French, who promoted the idea of French drains in a book he published in 1859 on different types of farm drainage. These simple structures can be designed to blend seamlessly with existing landscape designs, particularly if these areas include gravel or rock features.

What Is the Purpose of a French Drain?

Water always travels downhill, taking the easiest possible route. French drains capitalize on this fact by providing an easy and unobstructed channel water can run through. These drains consist of a small, sloped trench that’s been filled with gravel. Beneath the gravel lies a pipe that carries excess water away from a building’s foundation or yard and deposits it a respectable distance away.

What Are Curtain and Footing Drains?

Although basic in their construct, French drains come with several variations. For instance, a shallow French drain is generally used to address moderate amounts of surface water. Also known as a curtain drain, it runs just 2 feet deep and travels in a horizontal line across a yard. At this depth, it can intercept surface water and prevent saturated, mushy spots in the usable space.

Water problems that affect the basement or foundation of a home are best addressed through the installation of footing drains. These run entirely around the perimeter of a property. The typical footing drain is situated at the foundation level and captures water before it has a chance to get into the lowest portion of the home.

Do French Drains Require Professional Installation?

Even the installation of a basic curtain drain requires some measure of professional guidance and support. A poorly installed drain can increase flooding on the property and even cause problems on neighboring lots. However, a correctly installed French drain can eliminate the need to use a sump pump and prevent thousands of dollars in property damage.

Installing French drains are just one way to keep your home protected. Securing a home insurance policy from Tri-Star Insurance can provide additional benefits and peace of mind. In addition to homeowners insurance in San Diego, we also offer affordable policies for auto, commercial, health, and bond insurance. Call one of our friendly agents today at 619-272-2100 for a free quote.