Finishing Your Basement

Tips And Tricks For Implementing A French Drain System Into Your Landscaping

If your property is flat or slopes inward, you are probably looking for a solution to redirect water flow without messing up the look of your yard. A French drain system keeps your basement dry and clears excess water off your lawn before mushrooms take over the grass. But that's not the best part. The best part is that the drain works well and looks even better. Below are a few tips and tricks for creating a beautiful, dry lawn.

1. Plan the Drain's Access Points

The first step is to plan your access points. You want the drain present at two main areas: adjacent to your home on one end and draining away from your home on the other. Here are some tips for these access points:

  • Starting Point: The best place to begin your drain is close to a garage or a basement entry – whichever spot seems to leak the most. This keeps indoor flooding to a minimum. It also makes for easy access for your annual cleaning (keep in mind that if you have one spot in your yard that floods without reaching your home, you can begin your drain there instead).
  • Ending Point: You have more options for letting the water out. The water can exit into a rain barrel in the backyard, the gutter in the front, into an existing drain line, or anywhere else that water can't do damage to you or others. If an area of your lawn is higher and drier, you can safely release the water to that point.

2. Make a Pathway

Once you have determined where your drain will begin and end, the path it takes through your lawn is up to you. You can work with your existing landscaping, or, if it's time for a change, consider some new alternatives that include a French drain. Some aesthetic options to consider include:

  • Highlight the Foliage: Trees and flowering bushes are already beautiful, but you can highlight them with your drain. Create a circular ring around your trees and bushes using a French drain. This conceals the drain and accentuates the foliage. Avoid tree roots to prevent damage to the drain or tree.
  • Frame Your Patio: Your French drain can follow the contours of your patio or porch, creating a nice framed look that separates it from the lawn. The drain can then extend along the perimeter of your lawn to its exit point.
  • Walkway Extension: Another option is to widen an existing walkway. Or at least, make it look like the walkway is extra wide. One portion will be for walking and the other for draining water. Make sure you mark which is which, since you don't want to apply consistent pressure to your drain system.

3. Fill the Trench with the Right Material

Lastly, you get to pick the material used to fill in the trench. This is another simple, yet artistic, way to enhance your landscaping while dealing with a flooding problem. Some options to consider include:

  • Gravel: Gravel is a nice, simple choice. It is also a neutral material, so it doesn't look out of place in either a large or small yard. If you have a gravel driveway, consider using gravel to fill your drain and tie the two together.
  • Stone: Stone is appealing because it adds character to the yard. It draws the eye without detracting from the flowers, shrubs, and other greenery on your lawn. If you have stone on your house anywhere, this is the best option for you.
  • Broken Brick: Lastly, broken brick is an option for your trench. Brick also has charm, and you can use it to accentuate a part of your lawn that you really like. Place brick around your deck or fire pit for a cool effect.

Dealing with flooding in your basement or yard can be a big hassle. But if you take the approach of sprucing up your yard and working on your landscaping, it can also be a fun project. Contact companies like Perma-Dry Waterproofing & Drainage, Inc. for additional helps.


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