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Not having a good drainage system could cause a lot of harm to your basement and even to your lawn.
If your lawn grass is the type that doesn’t thrive so well in a permanently damp area, it would result in unhealthy-looking lawn grass. You don’t want that for your lawn.
This article will throw more light on the use of a french drain and how it works, this would help you avert the damages that could be caused to your foundation.
Before we delve into the answers to the above questions, let’s talk about what a French drain is exactly.
French drains are pipes embedded deeply into the ground that diverts water away from an area or building, like your home or office building.
It ensures that any water that builds up under the ground will be gotten rid of. This avoids negative developments on the foundation and other surrounding establishments in the area.
How do I know my French drain is clogged?
Waters that pass through the soil tend to get to the French drain carrying along soil particles that would be dumped on the drain; this keeps building up over time restricting the flow of water and completely blocking it after some time.
When you take a proper look at your lawn and find out that there is water dampening the area then there is a problem. Here are the signs of a clogged French drain:
- Negative changes in your lawn: what comes to your mind when your lawn starts having irregularities and there is a foul smell coming from it? That’s exactly what happens when your French drain is clogged. Have a proper inspection of your drainage.
- Unusual dampness: You will notice that the foundation of your house is soaking up water, you might even feel the wetness on the walls, ceilings, and the floor. This is a clear indication of a clogged drain pipe, if your drainage is not clogged it will reroute the water and release it elsewhere.
- Change in water flow: this is one of the immediate signs that your drain is clogged, there might just be something on the pipe’s way creating a blockage and preventing the smooth flow of water.
- Strange sounds from the drain: you might have experienced this, the gurgling sound you hear when water drains from your sink indicates that your drain might be clogged
Can a French drain get clogged?
Despite the efforts put into manufacturing a French drain, it still needs annual maintenance because it could also get clogged by dirt, debris, and silt just like every other drain.
It needs inspection and proper maintenance for it to continue rerouting water away from a building’s foundation, if your French drain is properly maintained it could last approximately 30 to 40 years.
How do you clear a blocked French drain?
As water seeps through the soil, it carries along soil particles that end up on your French drain.
This builds up over time making it nearly impossible for water to flow easily, this could result in a damp basement. Here are the steps on how to unclog your French drain:
- First, locate the upper opening of the drain. To do this, check for a hole in the ground surface where the drain starts.
In case you’re not certain about where it starts, then start investigating from the elevated points of your yard since the drain works by aiding water to run downward.
- Upon locating where the drain advents, run some water down it. You can use a garden hose to send water through the drainage.
If you notice that water is backing up instead of rushing through the drainage, then it’s a certain sign that you’re dealing with a clog. You’ll need to extract the clog to make the drain active again.
- You can use a water pressure washer to unclog a French drain. The washer works by sending water down the drainage at extremely high pressure.
It’s advisable to stand at the side of the drainage opening while sending water down the drain since it may back up upon reaching the clog.
You should aim the water towards the bottom section of the drainage. Doing so will make it easier to get rid of the clog. Remember to move the pressure washer around to clean the pipe on the sides.
- If the clogs are extremely adamant, then try to remove them with a plumber’s snake. If you’re using a water pressure washer but it doesn’t dislodge the clog, water will still back up from the drainage.
A plumber’s snake refers to lengthy piping that is inserted into blocked drainage. It stops moving further down the drainage upon reaching the clog. Once it stops moving, push it gently onto the clog.
Doing so will loosen up or break up the clog. You can break up the clog further and push it down the drainage by using the water pressure washer.
Use both the water pressure washer and the plumber’s snake to completely get rid of the clog. This way, water will freely flow down the drainage.
After carrying out these steps and the clog persists, we advise you to call a proper professional to inspect your drain and have it adequately fixed.
Recommended: 7 Simple Steps On How to Build A Rock Drainage Ditch
Can French drains fail?
Numerous homeowners fail to lodge a drainpipe in their French drain. Consequently, their drain system won’t be able to regulate heavy water flow.
The notion of a French drain is to route pooling surface water where you want it to go. However, this circumstance diminishes the effectiveness of the French drain in mitigating idle water.
It’s better to include the drainpipe with the first go-around. Someday, you’ll realize that you have to dig the French drain up to lodge the pipe later, possibly after a serious storm.
Another typical reason for French drain clogs is root intrusion from grass, shrubs, and trees. Because the drain collects moisture, plant roots invade the pipe looking for water.
In conclusion, don’t ignore a clogged French drain. We advise you to call in a professional to inspect your drain, clean it up annually, and have it adequately fixed when necessary.