French Drain


Water always flows downhill, and by the easiest route possible. That’s the basic concept behind a French drain, a slightly sloped trench filled with round gravel and a pipe that diverts water away from your house.

By the way, the name doesn’t come from the country. It’s from Henry French, a judge and farmer in Concord, Massachusetts, who promoted the idea in an 1859 book about farm drainage.

How a French Drain Works

French drains provide an easy channel for water to flow through. Water runs into a perforated PVC pipe at the bottom of a trench filled with ¾ washed gravel. The PVC pipe is covered in a nylon filter sock.

Water travels freely through the pipe, which empties a safe distance from your home.

The trench bottom should be sloped about 1 inch for every 8 feet in the direction you want water to flow. Depending on your situation, the water can be diverted to:

  • A low-lying area of your property
  • A drainage ditch
  • A dry well
  • The street

When You Need a French Drain

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  • When you have a problem with surface water, such as a soggy lawn or a driveway that washes out.
  • If you have water in your basement, seeping in through the top of your foundation wall.
  • A French drain is the solution if your seepage is originating over the top of the foundation.

If Your Problem is Surface Water

We install a shallow French drain. It extends horizontally across your property, directly uphill of the area you want to dry out. It intercepts water and channels it around the soggy spot.

This type of drain doesn’t have to be very deep — a common size is 2 feet deep and 1.5 feet across. If the drain passes through areas with trees or shrubs, we may switch to a solid pipe (not perforated) to reduce the risk of roots growing into the piping and clogging it.

If Water is Leaking Over the Top of Your Foundation
A French drain runs around the perimeter of your home 12”-14” below grade, depending on the problem we diagnose. The French drain intercepts water before it can leak over your foundation and enter your basement.


Give Everseal Basement a call, we will find the solution to your drainage issues!