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How to Build a French Drain the Right Way from A to Z

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We’re in Macomb Township, MI putting in a French drain. We’re hauling out all the clay that we excavate. None of it’s going back in. We always plywood into the property so that we do not disturb the homeowner’s turf. We want to leave it as we found it.

The homeowner had a fence up when I came out to do an estimate so that their pet wouldn’t run up and down the fence where it was so muddy.

Water has a hard time if we don’t have a lot of slope, water has a hard time moving through turf grass. This yard has it’s graded properly. It’s got some pitch, but when water just sits on clay it turns to pudding and it’s just a mess for the children and the pets. So as you’ve seen in all our videos, all the dirt is being hauled out, all the clay, it’s no good. You don’t want to put any of it back. You don’t want to put it back on top. When you put the dirt back on top of the drain system, it will appear as if it is working. If you put a pipe in the ground and you go ahead and… say a contractor, this is something that they do all the time, how to equipped to haul out the dirt, so what do they do? They put a pipe in with a little bit of stone and then they’ll fill the rest of the trench up with the clay and put the sod back over top. If they’re using a trencher, let us tear to side all up and destroy the homeowner’s property. And it basically takes a while for that appearance-wise, to get right. It takes, in most cases, months before the yard mends itself. We’ll cut the sod off the top, laid aside, put it right back on top of the system.

But the reason why the drain will actually work if you put a little bit of clay back over the top of the stone is that it’s now all broken up, but it won’t last forever. What happens is the air pockets as that clay settles and compacts, you know the very reason why farmers are always telling. I know there’s, yeah, a lot of farmers that are practicing a, no-till farming. You know, that’s a whole another thing in itself. But farmers are forced to have to tell because of compaction. Once that soil compacts and all the air pockets are gone, that’s when the system quits working. So that’s why you don’t want to put the clay back over the top of your French drain system. You want to make sure you tell that your contractor that’s doing your install. Look, I want you to remove the clay. All of it. This soil doesn’t perc. It doesn’t perc for a reason. This is poor soil. Get it Outta here. And that’s one of the biggest problems I see out there. Guys are taking the dirt and they’re not equipped to haul it all away. So they’re trying to put the dirt over top of the drain system. So now it doesn’t grab surface water. They’ll actually put inlet basins and aligning with their system to improve it. [...]

Read More: https://www.frenchdrainman.com/how-to-build-a-french-drain-the-right-way-from-a-to-z

French Drain Man – Michigan’s Yard Water Drainage Experts. Masters in the art of constructing contained French drain systems & curtain drain systems that and fix your yard drainage problems for years to come. Over 30 years’ experience in solving yard water drainage problems in Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer, and St. Clair Counties.

French Drain Man / Sherwood Landscape Construction, LLC
122 S Rawles St
Romeo, MI 48065


French Drain Man does not currently do any phone consultations. We currently service north Macomb County Michigan and North Oakland County Michigan. We do not travel outside of this service area.

French Drain Man uses specialty items in our drainage systems and does not ship out pipe or products at this time.

Our comments are turned off on our videos due to the fact that we are extremely busy with installations and estimates in our area and we would not be able to respond in a timely fashion to the comments/questions made.

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