Protecting this Golden Property From Water Damage
This post provides an inside look at how the trenching is performed for a French Drain. The property owner was dealing with water collecting on their property and sometimes making its way towards the foundation of the house. While snowmelt from heavy wet snows can contribute towards dealing with excess water, the big issues are the spring and summertime storms which can drop a couple of inches of rain in only minutes.
The trench for the french drain – located a few yards away from the foundation of the house
It is essential that this water runoff is properly directed away from the house in order to avoid expensive property damage and repairs. The installation of a french drain is probably the best way to protect your property from this onslaught of water.
We used a trencher in order to dig the trench for the french drain. The key in using the trencher is to go slowly and be very careful to avoid objects like rocks, edging, and most importantly – water lines. Severing one of your sprinkler lines or water drip lines in and around planting areas can result in a massive headache that can be a big pain to fix.
Using a Barreto 712 M1 Trencher to Build a French Drain Trench. The Operator Ran Into Unexpected Obstacles Which Resulted in a Bit More Time Than Expected to Dig the Trench.
Unfortunately, we don’t have photos of the installation of the drain itself. Also not shown are the grading efforts that were performed to assist water in channeling away from the house and towards a safe exit point.
When digging a french drain trench, you will have some excess soil as the drain displaces quite a bit of dirt. We used this soil to assist us with grading efforts on the property.
The French Drain Goes Under a Planting Area – We Had to be Very Careful Near Edging and Sprinkler Lines
It is backbreaking work. You could obviously dig the trench with just a shovel, but unless you have an extremely small property and only need a very short-running french drain, you’re going to need a trencher. Digging a trench is just too much work to do with just a shovel.
While a trencher is extremely effective at creating a great trench, it does come with some drawbacks. First off, a trencher is a bit of a hassle for a homeowner to transport. Especially getting in and out of your truck – in fact you’d probably be better off with a utility trailer than just a pickup bed when trying to move a trencher from point A to point B.
There’s also a bit of a learning curve with using any new heavy equipment you haven’t used before. Most people tend to not be very proficient with new equipment until the job is almost over – and at that point they won’t be using the equipment for years. The extra time spent in gaining the knowledge to use the new machinery is kind of wasted if you don’t get to use it again in the near future.
Finally, it really helps to understand what you’re doing. Understanding the contour and grading of your lawn – along with predicting, mapping out, and avoiding obstacles (like inground sprinkler lines) is a key part of the process. Be ready to do at least some minor sprinkler line repair when installing a French Drain.