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French Drains Chicago, IL

french drain installation Chicago Illinois
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    Installing French Drains

    French drains are channeled away from a property through a system of man-made channels to avoid soil erosion, water logging and erosion by root intrusion. A French drain or weeping tile is simply a narrow trench filled with stone or gravel or containing an excavated pipe that directs surface water away from a property. The drainage system can be constructed to run through existing footpaths or can be installed to be buried at a particular depth for additional security.

    It is common to have both a patio and garden when planning a new property, so it may be tempting to place a garden pond in the lowest part of the property. This works if you are only installing a French drain to avoid muddy tracks in the garden, however French drains work better if placed at the lowest possible point on the land. Digging the ditch itself is very important and should be left as short and as straight as possible. If possible dig the ditch at least one meter down from the highest point in the garden to the lowest point in the patio. Patios can also be used to install French drains, so look into installing a French drain alongside your patio. However if you choose to install a pond in the lowest part of your landscape, it is important to make sure the pond is deep enough to avoid muddy tracks in the garden.

    Gravity Fed

    Before digging out any earth or brick for French drains, make sure you know the direction the soil is going and check that there are no underground gas or electric wires that could get caught in the soil. The longer the trench or drain pipe, the more time it will take to fill it with soil and gravel. Once you have located the shortest position to fill the French drain pipe, dig a small hole with a shovel in the targeted spot. Use a shovel with a radius of about four to six inches, depending on the width of your garden. Once you have located the longest position to place the French drain, carefully dig a hole that is one to three times larger than the size of the French drain pipe.

    The next step is to remove all existing vegetation and soil from the targeted area. This can include lawn and flowers that grow close to the trench or drain pipe. Dig a hole two to three times deeper than the French drain and place the drainpipe inside. Once you have the French drain in the correct position, carefully line it up with the surface drains. Make sure you do not put the surface drains in backwards, as this can damage both the trench drain and your landscape.

    Now it is time to line the French drains against the soil surface. While digging, keep in mind not to dig too deeply as you may damage the lining. As long as you keep digging and keep adjusting the soil level, you should be able to line the French drains correctly. Once you have lined the French drains properly, remove them from the hole. If possible, work around them and try not to blow any dirt away from the trench drain.

    If you are having troubles with the positioning of the French drains or digging them too deeply, consider calling Chicago Foundation Repair Pros, our contracting services will help you out without any hesitation. In certain Situations will often come in and use landscape fabric to cover over the French drains and swales while they are digging. This will prevent improper positioning and also add an attractive element to your landscape design.



    Before placing the French drains and swales down, it is important to prepare the ground properly. For one thing, the ground should be flat and even. Dig a hole that is at least three feet deep and three to four feet wide. Place a picket fence or privacy wall next to the trench drain and then install the French drains and sewer lines inside the newly installed French drains and sewer lines. For the first-place section of the slope, put in concrete footing to make the ground more solid. For the second-place section of the slope, place the soil in and around the trench pipes and drain.

    The drainage system will need to be primed before it is set in stone. For that, dig a hole two feet wider and twelve inches deep and pour a two-inch layer of granular limestone into the bottom of the trench filled with landscape cloth. Allow the limestone to set for a day. Then, smooth the gravel with a garden tool and compact it into a mound two to three feet high and two to three feet wide. The French drain and sewer should now be installed and ready for the first-place and second-place sections of your French drains and swales.