So someone recommended french drains to you, huh? French drains are great for transporting water underground but most properties have decent slopes to get the water away without expensive french drains. One thing about french drains is that they capture water flowing across the top of the ground and move it underground only to pipe it away. One main issue with french drains is that they can lead to foundation problems if the french drains are not maintained well. French drains can leak and add water to deeper soils below the foundation. This can cause very bad results to the foundation. This is not to say that french drains are not effective, simply that they have their application.
We suggest that you consult with a drainage engineer to discuss options. The process is quite simple:
1) You know your property better than anyone so make note of the areas that collect water or the areas that you are concerned with.
2) Get a copy of the property survey from when you first bought the property and use it as a schematic to take notes of problem areas. A blue highlighter works best to show the areas that allow water to pool.
3) On the survey copy, make a circle at each location (relative) that has roof downspout. This is typically at the corners.
4) Make another copy of your notes and have it ready for the engineer.
5) Schedule for one of our drainage engineers to visit with you. Explain your concerns and what you have experienced with the drainage around the property.
6) You and the engineer should develop a remediation plan (schematic) that considers your budget, feasiblity for construction, timing and attention.
7) Coordinate any additional documentation that you may want to go with your consultation. The engineer can write a report of the discussion which is sometimes helpful or the engineer can develop an engineered schematic of the remediation plan that you both developed.
The intent here is to provide you with engineering considerations for managing the drainage. Drainage management is progressive, meaning, it takes time to develop and understand and can change as conditions change. Havng an engineer visit with you is relatively inexpensive. For a few hundred dollars, our engineers can visit with you and provide you with guidance and insight on drainage measures. Our engineers have no vested interest in motivating you to buy a product, get something installed, or hire us as contractors to do the work (we are not contractors). Our goal is to provide you with information to help you make a more informed decision.