What is a french drain?

The term French drain (sometime called “drain tile”) can be defined in a variety of ways, and people have many different techniques. The modern French technique was created, published, and popularized by Henry Flagg French of Concord, Massachusetts in 1859. It has since become a staple technique for farmers everywhere.

French drains work by ‘absorbing’ ground saturation with the use of gravel and a perforated pipe. The hydrostatic pressure of saturated soil forces water to the French drain as a path of least resistance. When the water enters the French drain, it is carried to a storm sewer or dry well for discharge.

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French Drain Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need a French drain? Do French drains actually work?

Yes. Although the first modern example was published in 1859, the concept had been around for centuries. In fact, every house with a sump pump receives its water from a French drain/drain tile around the basement foundation. Although they are called different things, the concept and technique are exactly the same.

What’s the difference between these techniques?

A quick search on YouTube will reveal endless results of experts installing French drains. Seemingly, everyone swears by their technique. There are different considerations for different techniques.

First, soil types vary throughout the country. What may be acceptable for one soil type may not be satisfactory in your yard. 

Second, some techniques are simply not built to last a long time. The most basic techniques can be very affordable but also have a limited lifespan. We design our drains to last for decades.

How do you do it?

All our French drains include a 4” perforated pipe, surrounded by a generous amount of crushed, screened ¾” limestone and completely wrapped 360 degrees with 5.6 oz nonwoven polypropylene geotextile.

We build these things to function very well and last a long time. We want our drains to last as long as possible while providing the best performance.

Geotextile? Sounds like a fancy name for landscape fabric.

That’s exactly what it is. Geotextile refers to a higher quality of fabric that is designed and constructed to be much more durable than typical landscape fabric. We only use the highest quality fabric for our French drains. The fabric creates a barrier between the soil and the pipe to prevent clogging while allowing maximum water permeability.

What is ¾” Screened Limestone?

This provides the best performance to allow water infiltration and structural integrity to protect the pipe from clogging, damage, movement that can change the slope, and other pressures.

The Greenway LS Drainage Contractor Difference

No more waiting or wondering. Even if we can’t help you with your service, we will always respond when you fill out a contact form on the website.

Greenway LS offers a variety of specialized drainage solutions tailored to address each property’s unique drainage challenges.

It won’t cost you anything to let us take a look at your yard drainage problem.

In some cases, contractors don’t even show up! We always honor our commitments.

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