French Drains

French Drains

Do you have a problem with surface water such as the driveway washing out or an over saturated soggy lawn with puddles in your landscape making maintenance and recreation challenging and messy? We have 2 guaranteed solutions to solve soggy/muddy landscape. Our processes follow all industry standards and come with an optional lifetime warranty.

What is a French Drain?

A French drain is a simple drain installed in the most problematic areas of the yard. A trench is dug and filled with a perforated pipe wrapped in water-permeable fabric, and the pipe is covered with layers of gravel.

Why install a French Drain?

A French Drain is necessary when you have a problem with surface water, such as a soggy lawn or a driveway that washes out or if your building a retaining wall on a hillside.

How does a French Drain work?

In most cases first and often the only thing that is needed is a French Drain with a few small catch basins in low areas to allow surface water to immediately move away without having to soak in.  The system work because gravity causes the water to flow downhill, and water will always follow the path of least resistance. Therefore water is naturally drawn down through the stones into the hollow pipe where the water can flow freely on a downward slope towards the suitable location for water drainage. Lastly, we install  access points at the top of the drain for future inspection and maintenance. 

Is a French Drain all that is needed?

We say that approximately 80% of our clients were satisfied with their results when only French drain was installed. For anyone aiming for perfection and no further doubt, we recommend adjusting the soil structure by topdressing the designated area. The combination of a French Drain and topdressing is guaranteed to work.  We have worked for some of the most discerning families in Washington and we have never had a client upset with the outcome if they have built out the French drain to our specifications and done an 1.5-2” top dress. 

What is Topdressing?

The 2nd step, which some of our clients who just want to put this whole thing to bed with certainty, is to do a top dress.  A top dress is a high sand content soil, around 80% sand, 20% compost.  This can also be awesome for people with dogs because they come in sandy and brush off instead of muddy.  But the sand maintains its structure even when it is hyper saturated.

Why does Top Dress Help?

First and foremost, Top Dress improves the soil structure, water holding capacity and cation exchange capacity. The visual we like to give people is that your lawn, most likely, currently has fine topsoil, but like the soil around lakes its very mushy when its wet.  Great for growing lots of plants, but not great for people that have to mow or want to play.  The top dress acts more like the sand at the beach, you can walk right next to the ocean, and it stays firm under your feet.  In the first year you tend to have to fertilize a bit more and possibly water a bit more but once the roots of the grass reach the soil below your lawn will have access to all the nutrients and hydration, but the dogs and humans only see and feel the dense upper layer.