Heavy rains and flooded yards don’t just keep you cooped up indoors all day. They can do serious damage to your property, especially if you don’t have a drain pipe that directs the water flow away from your home.
That’s where french drains come in.
These customized drain systems were specially designed to prevent water from building up in the land around your home. This helps you prevent serious water damage and keep your ground surface from shifting due to water retention.
And thankfully, french drain installation is a surprisingly easy process that requires only a few key materials. And it all starts with professional-grade woven geotextile fabric.
What Is A French Drain?
As we’ve mentioned, a french drain is a unique drainage pipe that allows water to easily flow away from your home, rather than building up in your soil.
When building a french drain, you’ll start with a perforated pipe that collects water and redistributes it to a preferred drainage location. In design, french pipes were made to work with the natural flow of water, instead using complicated systems to try and force the moisture away.
Typically, the drain pipe will be covered with rocks or gravel, since these materials allow water to enter the drain more easily than thicker options like dirt and mulch.
Most importantly, the pipe will need to be wrapped in a high-quality filter fabric that prevents debris from obstructing the passageway and creating a drainage issue.
How To Tell If Your Yard Has A French Drain Already?
If you’re a new property owner, you might not be sure if a french drain is already installed in your yard.
To figure out if you have one, you’ll need to thoroughly inspect your yard. A french drain trench is usually downward sloping and will have a visible pipe at the end.
When installed properly, the drainage pipe will be surrounded by rocks and other attractive landscaping elements that prevent the system from becoming an eye sore.
If you aren’t able to spot any of these features on your property, then chances are a french drain is not in place.
Why Do I Need A Drainage System?
French drains and other water flow solutions aren’t simply installed to keep your ground dry. They can also keep your home from becoming damaged by excessive amounts of moisture in your soil.
Some of the most common reasons to install a french drain are…
When surface water pools around your home, it can always seep beneath the foundation and lead to significant indoor flooding. This can also lead to wood rot along the exterior of your home, which is extremely hazardous and costly to repair.
Along with flooding inside your home, excess water can disrupt the very foundation of your property. If this happens, your home becomes susceptible to major structural damage. That’s a nightmare no property owner wants to think about.
Redirecting Surface Water
Of course, the main benefit of a french drain is to prevent standing water in your yard. This can make it difficult to keep up with your landscape, as well as pose a threat to sheds, driveways, and other free-standing structures around your home.
Support For Retaining Walls
Finally, if you have retaining walls installed on your property, then too much moisture in the soil can cause these walls to lose their stability over time. And when retaining walls fail, they give way to even further soil erosion and other expensive property damage.
Are There Any Alternatives To Using A French Drain?
While french drains are ideal for swampy areas, properties with only mild water retention might not call for such an intensive drainage system.
Instead, consider installing a ground stabilization and soil erosion system like GeoCell bases. These bases are made up of interlocking panels that allow excess water to naturally drain out of your soil, all while providing support for the surface of your yard.
GeoCell bases are so durable, they’re even used in parking lots that store heavy-duty vehicles. Plus, they’re simple to install and come in customizable packages that can be tailored to meet any budget.
Learn more about using GeoCells for ground stabilization here: https://www.performancefooting.com/blog/geocell-vs-geogrid-a-stabilization-comparison/
What’s The Best French Drain Fabric?
Besides the drain pipe itself, picking the right geotextile fabric for french drain is one of the most crucial aspects of building a french drain.
When shopping for geotextile landscape fabric, you’ll come across two main types of materials: woven drainage fabrics and non-woven fabrics.
Here are the key differences that you need to know about…
Woven Drainage Fabric
Often used as a weed barrier, woven geotextile fabric is created using tightly spun threads of polypropylene. This makes it ultra-durable and ideal for keeping debris out of the landscaped area. In many cases, you’ll see woven fabrics like this used under driveways and parking lots.
However, because of how tight the fabric is threaded, woven geotextile offers very little permeability. This means that excessive water flow won’t be able to drain out quickly, making it a poor choice for french drain installation.
Non-Woven Drainage Fabric
On the other hand, non-woven fabrics are made using the same polypropylene materials, but with needle-like punctures that allow maximum water drainage. That’s why non-woven fabrics are the top choice for creating a landscape drainage system. These can be used for french drains, along with GeoCell bases, and nearly every other water filtration option.
You can also purchase non-woven geotextile fabrics in a variety of densities and sizes.
Light Weight (2 oz. – 3 oz.) – Great for retention walls and areas with high flow rates.
Medium Weight (4 oz. – 6 oz.) – Ideal for drainage systems like french drains, high-permeability without soil disruption.
Heavy Weight (8 oz. – 16 oz.) – Mostly used in heavy-duty settings like retention barriers and man-made lakes.
Where Can I Find Geotextile Fabric For French Drain?
If you’re ready to start building a french drain on your property, Performance Footing is here to help.
Our team is experts in providing water filtration and drainage solutions for properties of all sizes, featuring our expansive selection of professional-grade geotextile fabric for french drains and more.
And if you’re not sure how much fabric to buy?
We’ll help you customize your fabric order, so that you get the best deal for your budget.
Shop our geotextile fabrics today.