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What Are Nashville French Drains and How Can They Help You Deal With a Wet Basement?

Find out what Nashville French Drains are, how they work, and how they can help you achieve a dry basement. When installed by a professional basement contractor, Nashville French Drains can help you eliminate both wet basement problems and future foundation repairs.


While the term French Drain Contractor might sound glamorous and European, this effective drainage method actually takes its name from Henry F. French, a 19th-century American lawyer and assistant U.S. Treasury secretary. French popularized the use of this drainage style to such an extent that it took on his name. If you have issues with excess basement moisture or flooding, find out how these drains work and discuss with your basement or foundation contractors if this is a drainage solution that is right for you.


Nashville French Drains are a subterranean system of perforated pipes that direct water away from your building's foundation, either using the natural slope of the land or a sump pump to redirect the water. They are constructed by digging a trench, installing a perforated pipe, and layering gravel, sand, or extremely strong synthetic fabrics (known as geotextile or landscaping textile) around the pipe to keep unwanted debris from lodging in the perforations or entering and clogging the pipe itself.


In simple terms, these drains provide a location into which excess water can go. Instead of seeping down your basement walls or up through the seams in the floor, water is channeled into the drain and deposited away from the building. Nashville French Drains are one of the most effective forms of basement waterproofing on the market.


There are two basic styles of Nashville French Drains. The first is an exterior draining system. This means that the trench for the pipe is dug just outside the foundation wall so that it drains and redirects water entirely from the outside of your building. This type of basement waterproofing drain can work very well, but does have a big downside. If it needs service, the whole area around your home will have to be excavated.


The second style is internal. This means that the trench for the pipe is dug along the inside perimeter of your basement. If you're working with new construction, this should be done prior to basement finishing. If you need to install a Nashville French Drains in an existing building, the perimeter of the floor will need to be cut and removed down to the footing so that the drain system can be installed. This drain collects the water from below your foundation before it has a chance to find its way into your property. Internal Nashville French Drains are usually installed with a sump pump to pump the excess water out of the basement area. Once the whole system is installed, the trench is covered in cement for a smooth finish.


Nashville French Drains are an excellent option if you have a wet basement or basement flooding, and if you want to avoid costly foundation repair work in the future due to water damage. If you have basement water issues, talk to your basement contractor today to find out if these drains might be right for you.


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