French Drains: The Solution to Your Standing Water Dilemma

Water damage can utterly devastate your home, and one of the worst types of water damage is when it affects your foundation. Unfortunately, this type of destruction can affect your home even if you live in a relatively dry area like Oklahoma. Standing water or rainwater runoff can seriously harm your home. This problem is more likely to affect you if you live at the bottom of a slope. Luckily, by installing a French drain, Oklahoma concrete experts can prevent this excess water exposure and create a gently sloping pipe and trench to move water away from your home.

French drains are not named for France, but for the drain’s inventor, Henry French, a Concord judge and farmer who invented and wrote about the drain in 1859. At the time, the drains were made with clay, but today, a French drain in Oklahoma usually consists of a perforated pipe, surrounded by gravel and a geotextile fabric. These drains can be used in parking garages, behind retaining walls, near sunken patios, in basement walls, and near split level buildings. Placed at the correct grade, a French drain will carry water away from your building to a safe drainage site.

In order to work correctly, a French drain in Oklahoma should be installed according to fairly precise standards. To ensure the best results, you should hire someone with extensive experience in installing these types of drains. It must be installed at the proper depth; otherwise, water will not drain into the pipe, but will continue to cause damage to the nearby structure. Generally, the bottom of the drain should be two inches below the surface of the surrounding building, but this is just an estimate, and you should consult an expert for the precise depth. The pipe must also be installed at the correct grade; a general estimate for this is a one inch drop for every ten feet of pipe length.

A French drain in Oklahoma requires specific types of pipe, gravel, and geotextile fabric. The type of piping that is generally used is a 6 inch PVC SDR-35 perforated pipe. The perforations usually consist of two rows of round holes facing the bottom of the pipe. Occasionally, there are variations on the type of pipe, including schedule 40 pipes and four inch pipes for smaller areas. The gravel surrounding the French drain should be between ¾ of an inch and 1 ½ inches. The twelve inches above the pipe should be filled with dirt to avoid damage to the pipe, and then the gravel should be placed surrounding the pipe. The geotextile fabric should be a long-lasting, manufactured material that will protect the stone and prevent dirt from entering the pipe and clogging it up.

With the very specific requirements for a French drain in Oklahoma, it is best to get your drain installed by an experienced professional. Having this work done now could save you thousands of dollars in water damage repair down the road.

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