What to Look for When French Drains Are Overflowing

When functioning as expected, a French drain will take water a safe distance away from your home. This trench-style drainage system is appealing because it can easily steer water from higher to lower areas on your property so you can avoid messy clean-ups and flooding problems. For times when your French drain isn’t effectively doing its job, here’s what you can do to identify and correct issues with overflowing.

Debris Clogs

Most French drain overflows are caused by debris that’s clogging some part of the drain. Depending on where your drain is located, it could become clogged from different materials throughout the year. During mowing season, for example, clogs may be caused by grass clippings. In the fall, leaves can be the culprit. A severe storm sometimes results in rocks and mud getting in the drain. A power rooter can help clear some clogs. For stubborn clogs, however, it’s best to call a professional.

Gravity Isn’t Working Effectively

Some French drains are designed to take advantage of a property’s naturally gravity. But if your drain isn’t pointed sufficiently downward, this may be the main reason why overflows are a recurring problem. The solution is to use a sump pump to compensate for this design flaw. The good news is that a pump can be easily installed without having to significantly alter your existing French drain.

Natural Water Flow Is Disrupted

Another design issue that could be contributing to overflow problems is how your French drain changed some of your property’s natural features. For instance, your property may have had a natural downward slope that helped with water runoff — until this slope was blocked by your French drain. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to move the drain to a better location. A less invasive option is to see a sump pump could remedy the situation.

The French drains Erie PA homeowners have in place will be less likely to experience overflows if cleaned annually as a preventative measure. You’ll also benefit from a French drain that is properly planned and installed in the first place, which includes factoring in width, slope, and other specific details of your property.