French Drains

in Springfield, Nixa, Ozark & Republic, Missouri

History of 

The French Drain

You may think the French Drain was invented in France, but in reality, it was created by Massachusetts attorney Henry Flagg French in 1859. The concept was defined in his book Farm Drainage; the Principles, Processes, and Effects of Draining Land to support the agricultural industry. In addition to increasing the value and usability of farmlands, Henry strongly believed that wet basements could make a person sick by breathing in the “vapors from wet, swampy places.” Henry traveled to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in 1857 after the death of his first wife from consumption and learned about water drainage, which ultimately was the basis for his book. The French Drains he installed at his two homes are still functional today!

Here is a bit of interesting trivia. Daniel Chester French, son of Henry Flagg French, created the famous Lincoln Memorial built in 1922. Seventy-two years later, his father’s technology was needed, and a French Drain was installed around the memorial in 1994! 

Photo from Library of Congress

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a closer look at

French Drains

French Drains channel water away from your home or eliminate standing water in your yard. A trench is dug in the yard 18 to 24 inches wide by 18 to 24 inches deep. Next, a non-woven geotextile fabric is placed into the trench, covering the bottom and both sides of the trench and extending onto the yard. That is followed by a perforated pipe (4 inches to 6 inches in diameter) placed in the trench, and then the pipe is covered with rock (typically 1.5 to 3-inch in diameter). The remaining filter fabric is then ‘burrito-wrapped’ over the top of the rock, encapsulating the French Drain system.

It’s important to note that the pipe should fall 1 inch every 8 feet upon its journey from the drain field to the exit point. There are a variety of ways to terminate the exit point, including pop-ups, basins, daylighting the pipe, and in some circumstances tying into an existing public storm drain.

This process is an excellent way to stop the water before it gets into your home’s basement or crawl space. It is much more cost-effective than hiring someone to jackhammer your basement foundation and put a drain inside your basement floor. It’s always preferable to prevent moisture from entering your basement to avoid any risk of mold or structural issues.

We know that no one wants to spend money on water issues…that’s why we offer financing.

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2131 West Republic Road, Suite 343
Springfield, Missouri 65807

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