What are the Pros and Cons of French Drains?

What are the Pros and Cons of French Drains?

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What are the pros and cons of installing French drains to counteract water intrusion around your home?

Olson Foundation Repair offers an array of drainage upgrades to minimize excessive water and moisture. These involve attacking the problem from either inside or outside your house. In this post, we’ll discuss the efficacy of French drain systems for homes around Kansas City.

Pros for Installing French Drains

First, what is a French drain?

It allows you to dig a trench in the troublesome areas of your yard and install weeping tile (perforated pipe) to direct water elsewhere. Many homeowners put these in gardens and hide them with decorative rocks, flowers, or landscaping.

The best “pro” in favor of French drain systems is that it’s a solid way to handle those low points in your yard that are prone to pooling. It can help you a lot when there is no other way for water to runoff properly.

The installation process requires us to manage the lay of the land, so to speak. It wouldn’t help to put in a French drain without addressing the soil grading. In other words, you have to ensure you’re working with a positive soil grade to send water away from the property.

Cons Against French Drains

What are the cons to doing this?

This system only collects surface water. Therefore, when we suffer huge rainstorms in Kansas City, the French drain won’t be sufficient. A heavy storm can produce enough rain to bypass it and contribute to even greater pooling.

It may inadvertently cause more problems with water in your basement. We’ve seen folks install these drain systems, become overwhelmed with water, and, especially with negative soil grading, send it all toward their basement. The solution to this problem usually involves installing an interior drain-tile system to manage the water flow better.

If you decide to pursue the French drain option, make sure you consult with a landscaper to guarantee proper soil grading. This is the best thing to do when you have problems such as a flat backyard, which is suboptimal for good drainage.

Olson Foundation Repair doesn’t do many of these because of the cons involved. The drain-tile system almost always works better when there’s water pooling along the side of the house. We’re so confident in this method, working in tandem with a reliable sump pump, that we offer more favorable warranty terms upon completion.

Do You Need Better Drainage Around Your Home?

It’s always important to take an honest assessment of the water drainage situation around your home. Some problems are minor and don’t require a huge renovation, whereas others are severe and might flood your basement, eventually.

In one of our earlier posts, we discussed the various signs of improper drainage around your foundation. These are the problems you should know, and if you spot them, give Olson Foundation Repair a call for waterproofing assistance.

  • Your gutters and downspouts are overflowing, sending water all over the place. This is a fast way to damage your roof, siding, and foundation materials.
  • Do you have foundation wall cracks? While this could come from structural issues, like interior wall movement, it’s also a sign of water intrusion weakening the materials.
  • Are there water stains along your basement walls or floors? If so, you would benefit from an inspection and basement waterproofing with us.

Olson Foundation Repair: Kansas City’s Best for Effective Drainage Solutions

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until you have a horrible basement flood or collapsing foundation walls to find a resolution. The Olson team is more than happy to at least investigate everything with a free consultation. If a new drainage system would help, we can explore the various options with you, and it doesn’t always mean pursuing the most expensive approach.

If you’d like more information on the pros and cons of French drains, interior drain-tile systems, exterior waterproofing membranes, or any other foundation repair measure, contact us anytime to learn more.

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