Kirkland Landscaper recommends French drains

What is a french drain? Do I need a french drain, because I don't like culverts? Drainage is the question we will answer in this blog. How to deal with Seattle rain and keep your landscape too.

"&%@!...Pardon my French!" …That’s how Seattle homeowners feel about excess water in their yard and basements. It’s especially frustrating if you learn you have a drainage problem after you’ve just invested a lot of time and money into installing a beautiful landscape. When Kirkland landscaper Environmental Construction designs a landscape, we often recommend French drains are added into the landscape plan so you don’t have problems later.

Excess water in the soil can be damaging to a landscape, not to mention dangerous and expensive if you live on a hillside. Pools of standing water, if not allowed to drain, can cause other problems too. You may find that your yard is the breeding ground for mosquito larva. And a saturated lawn means having to wait, sometimes weeks, to mow the grass while neighbors’ yards look trim and beautiful.

Some homeowners I’ve talked to in the Seattle area experience soggy lawns caused by underground springs. Unfortunately, the location of these springs is hard to predict. They often pop up in a different location each year. The mucky mess becomes a feature of the yard well into summer when the Seattle rain finally subsides.

Fortunately, for many residents of Seattle, the French drain is their friend. Hidden in the ground, the French drain is an “unseen hero” of the landscaping world. In the case of the unpredictable underground spring, the yard may require and series of French drains, including ground material, to improve the overall drainage of the yard. To quickly move water away from the house and foundation, Seattle residents could attached a French drain to the base of each downspout. The drain should point the water toward a rock garden, rain garden or drainage area that will not erode when met with heavily flowing water. Read more about rain gardens built by Environmental Construction.

A French drain is a long plastic tube with small slits or openings that absorb the water. The tubing is placed in a trench that is usually lined with landscape cloth (or similar material) and small rock or gravel. As water seeps into the ground it is pulled toward the rock and tubing as this is the path of least resistance. The water is then transferred to a safe location.

French drains are a necessary feature for most yards in Seattle. They help reduce erosion and are used when building a hillside terrace. The weight of ground water in the soil can cause a rock wall to shift. Using a French drain to move water away from potentially risky areas helps mitigate those risks.

Water drainage planning is an intricate part of a good landscape design for homeowners in the Seattle area. If you plan to begin a landscaping project in the next several months, now is the time to think about installing French drains. I encourage you to call our office and let us evaluated your property for possible water drainage problems. A little time and money spent on installing a French drain is worth saving the frustration you may experience later if unwanted water finds its way into your yard and decides to stay.

Category: Landscape Ecology

Environmental Construction, Inc.

It's not simply about designing and building beautiful garden spaces, it's about providing a landscape oasis where you can relax from the daily grind and recharge. Let us create an outdoor space that will enhance your home and quality of life.

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