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How Do French Drains Work & How to Maintain Them

How Do French Drains Work & How to Maintain Them

Most developers and property owners prefer installing French drains for drainage purposes. These drains help solve fundamental flooding problems.

If you have French drain, you don’t have to worry about your basement getting wet or your backyard becoming waterlogged. French drains are sloppy and have a gravel-filled trench that keeps water away from your home. The trench prevents the flow of water.




Learn the Basics of French Drains

In other places, French drains are known as drain tiles, blind drains, or weeping tiles. These drains are installed to prevent the accumulation of water in the basement. The buildup of water in your home exerts a lot of pressure on the foundation, which may cause flooding or cracks.

A French drain comprises a PVC pipe installed around the perimeter or under the basement of a home. The pipe is perforated to distribute water to absorbent gravel.

Cleaning the French Drain

Cleaning should be a regular activity. Plan a schedule and stick to it. Cleaning keeps the drain functional for long and helps it stay clear. French drains are cleaned through the snaking process, which requires the use of an electric sewer to remove accumulated debris.

You can do it yourself or seek the services of a professional. However, the electric sewer snake is massive, so you need help. To avoid unclogging the French drain poorly, it is advisable to sacrifice some money and get it done by experts. Carefully follow the following steps to clean your French drain:

Choose one end of your French drain. Find a hole where the drain begins. Select the highest point of your yard if you are not sure where your drain starts

  • French drains usually have a lid, so open it. After removing it, feed the electric sewer snake cable into the drain. If water backs up, you have probably done a clog. Remember to wear good rubber gloves to protect your hands
  • To access the bottom of the drain, ensure that the cable is long enough. In case of resistance and obstacles on the drainage path, patiently retract the electric sewer snake
  • Carefully shake the cable to work around a bend
  • Keep moving the cable through the debris clogging the drain. Retract the cable when needed, but move it until it reaches the end of the French drain
  • Retract your electric sewer snake when you reach the end of the drain
  • Flush out the debris using water from a hosepipe
  • You can as well use a pressure washer to unclog the drain. This sends water down the drain at high pressure. When doing this, stand to the side because water comes back when it hits a clog.

You’ll quickly get the drain cleaned if you follow these steps keenly. Although it is a simple process, be patient because it may take time to clear the entire drain. A large drain may take a few hours.

The process may be complicated if you’ve not been cleaning your drainage on a regular basis. If that is the case, it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a qualified plumber.

Clean out the French Drain regularly

Although French drains can function for long without any issue, it’s crucial to clean them at least once a year. Cleaning once in several years is not only time consuming but also expensive because you have to hire a professional.

Always keep your French drain well-maintained in times of floods and rains. This helps to prevent the accumulation of waste and water.

Additionally, the gutter system must be cleaned out to prevent the building up of debris from the French drain. The cleaning task is easier if you have two or more people assisting you.

Hire an Electric Sewer Snake

If you have the know-how and all the necessary tools, you can do everything yourself. Most home improvement companies, tool rental facilities, and hardware stores offer electric sewer snakes for rent. If you decide to rent one, ensure that it has a 0.75-inch spring-wound cable. The same measurement applies when buying your machine.

Rent an electric sewer snake with a 100-foot cable if you are not sure about the length of your drain. Ask for a brief tutorial if the snake does not come with simple instructions.

French drains are quite effective at directing rainwater runoff away from your septic tank and foundation. However, proper maintenance is needed to keep them working correctly. You need to clean them at least once a year.

Get in touch with All Dry USA today to get your French drain cleared by professionals.


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