Luxury homes set the tone here in McLean, Virginia, where roof gutters and lawn drainage systems work together to keep manicured landscapes beautiful. Still, an address inside the Washington Metropolitan area’s wealthiest ZIP code can’t protect your yard from flooding when heavy rains move in. If your lawn puddles, pools, or runs with rivers during a downpour, LeafGuard wants to introduce the solution that will tame that overflow – a French drain.
An American Drainage Solution
Leave it to an assistant U.S. Treasury secretary to invent a drainage system that works so well here in McLean. Henry Flagg French came up with his idea in the mid-1800s, and his gravel-lined trench forms the base for today’s simple French drain. The upgraded system channels excess rainfall into perforated pipes that direct water away from your property. French drains work in tandem with efficient rain gutters to preserve the integrity of your home’s foundation and your lawn’s good looks. Whether you dig into the project yourself or have the work done, it’s an affordable solution for yard drainage problems.
Basic French Drain Installation
Before you start any trenching project, always contact local utilities for information about lines buried under your property. You won’t find French drain supplies at the Galleria, but most home improvement centers carry the basics. You’ll need perforated pipe, bagged gravel, permeable landscape cloth and drain sleeve fabric. The process starts with digging a trench around the foundation or through areas in the lawn that tend to flood. Line the trench with landscape cloth, and fill with gravel. Wrap the perforated pipe with sleeve fabric, lay it in the trench with holes directed downward, and top it off with gravel leveled up to grade.
The Deep and Wide Effect
It’s a good idea to go deep and wide with your trench because shallow and narrow channels don’t have the capacity to keep a French drain running clog-free. The system’s efficiency depends on gravity, but rain water draining into the gravel trough and up into the perforated pipe carries silt deposits. The landscape cloth and drain sleeve minimize this problem, but a deep, broad trench increases gravel volume and its filtering effect. A channel 12 inches deep and 8 to 12 inches wide is the ideal dimension for easy sloping and grading. Digging deeper and wider means more work, but it adds years to your French drain’s operating life.
We don’t dig trenches and lay pipe, but LeafGuard by BELDON® offers expert gutter installation services to home and business owners throughout Fairfax County and northern Virginia. We understand the importance of reliable drainage systems that protect your home and landscape. If you’d like more information about our seamless gutters and custom installations, just give us a call. We’re here for you come rain or shine.