French drainage types and features


The arrangement of a site near a house or cottage is inextricably linked with a certain amount of landscape work. To solve the issue of protecting the local area from excess water, you can resort to French drainage. This is a technology that provides for the arrangement of a special channel responsible for the diversion of ground and surface water from one part of the site to another. In most cases, French drainage is localized around the entire perimeter of the foundation in order to guarantee the maximum degree of protection of the entire structure from the damaging effects of water.

The word “drainage” is of French origin and refers to the artificial removal of water. The French drain system is considered an effective and at the same time simple solution. Its functionality is similar to a conventional gutter deployed on the roofs of houses. In fact, this is a trench, located at a slight slope, breaking into the soil at an optimal depth. A pipe is laid along the entire length of this trench, supplemented by perforation. Most of the trench is occupied by gravel, through which moisture penetrates and needs to be eliminated.

French drainage types

To date, surveyors are familiar with several french drain types:

  • Traditional.
  • Mounted.
  • Fin.

Classic or traditional French drain involves the arrangement of a structure in which a layer of gravel covers the pipe, and then it is filled up to the level of the soil.

In turn, the hinged solution involves overlapping the soil layer with gravel. Plants or ordinary lawn grass are planted on top of this system. This option is optimal for those who want to hide the drainage system from prying eyes or plan to decorate the overall landscape effectively.

Fin solution is the most compact version of such a system. It uses a material that, when installed, forms separate sections. As a result, during installation, it is possible to obtain a vertical rib passing from the soil to the pipe. Such a french drain system type is the most budgetary and visually compact.

Design features

When equipping this type of excess moisture removal system, it is important to fix the correct angle of inclination of the pipe to prevent it from stagnation. It is important to use a stone when filling the trench to ensure the safety of this structure, in particular, at night. French drains are in high demand, as they visually look quite elegant and aesthetically pleasing, playing one of the most important roles in the overall landscape idea. With the right approach and high-quality installation, this type of drainage system can effectively and safely hide unsightly pipes for the entire structure.

Before you begin to equip such a system, make sure it is needed specifically on your site. If the foundation of the house is regularly in contact with rain or melt water, such a device will definitely come in handy. On the contrary, such a system may worsen the situation if there is too much water on your site’s territory (it will provoke active fungus and mold development).

Be sure to install this type of drainage if your backyard or driveway is regularly flooded. Drainage will allow you to quickly remove excess moisture and your lawn will dry out much faster. French drainage will also be relevant if your plans include the construction of a retaining wall, which will be located along the hillside.


Always soberly evaluate the relevance of installing a drainage system on the site. Before installing such a system, consider what type of system would be preferable, as well as what you would like with the soil after digging the trench. By the way, you can also think about the water that will be collected. It is optimal to install a catchment tank (for example, a barrel) at the end of the drainage structure. In this way, you can collect water and later use it to take care of the beds or garden.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here