If you have water issues along your foundation or basement or if your property has soggy patches that last several days after a rainstorm, you should consider installing a French drain system to help drain excess water away from your property and prevent water from damaging your home. The concept behind a French drain is relatively simple. It consists of a PVC pipe in a trench around your foundation that is filled with coarse gravel to encourage water to flow away from critical parts of your property. Because it can seem like an easy project, you may consider completing it yourself. However, there are several reasons that you should consider hiring a professional instead.
Calculate the Appropriate Slope for Your Problem
Depending which DIY source you consult, you will find several different suggested slopes for a French drain. While there are some guidelines to how much slope your French drain requires, the final solution should take into consideration the natural slope of your property and the amount of rainfall the drain needs to accommodate. An experienced local contractor will know what type of slope your property needs to drain properly and will be experienced at quickly installing piping with the appropriate slope.
Recognize Problem Areas and Suggest Solutions
Perhaps you know that your basement needs a French drain. However, do you know whether an interior or exterior drain will be more efficient? Do you plan to install a drain around your entire home or just on the side that has water problems now? An experienced contractor can help spot drainage problems and address them before they get out of hand. This is especially useful if you are installing a drain in your yard to deal with soggy patches. Often, homeowners end up diverting water from one area only to cause a problem in another area. A contractor can help you avoid this problem.
Suggest Creative Outlet Solutions
French drains usually either drain to a lower part of your property or to a sump. A contractor can help you decide which solution is better for you. If you are draining your French drain to an open outlet, your contractor can anticipate and address problems such as the pipe becoming blocked during freezing temperatures. They can also suggest various underground outlets that drain into the subsoil more quickly and efficiently than traditional sump tanks.
Save You the Trouble of Digging
While digging is not a complicated manual task, it is possible to injure yourself if you do not properly support your back and use correct posture. If you rent excavation equipment, you can potentially injure yourself or damage your property. Hiring a professional helps ensure that appropriate equipment for the task is used and that you will not suffer strains, sprains, or other injuries from exertion or improper digging technique.
Also, with proper equipment and experience using it, the project can usually be completed faster. This allows you to get your yard back to normal and continue with your everyday activities sooner when you hire a professional.
Install Pumps When Necessary
If your property does not have the appropriate slope to install a solely gravity-based system, you will have to install a pump. For some homeowners, placing the pump and making sure it is properly interfaced with multiple power sources, such as a generator for heavy rainstorms that might interrupt your regular electrical source, can be complicated. A contractor can correctly install pumps to make sure your system runs efficiently and does not have a negative affect on your electrical system.
If you are experienced in home repair, you may be able to complete a French drain on your own. However, it may be easier and more effective to hire a professional to do the job for you.