Many homeowners in DFW metroplex rely on French drains to keep excess water away from their foundations in tandem with their gutter system (a great strategy for preventing foundation damage due to expansive clay soil, prevalently found in the North/East Texas areas). While typically a great strategy to protect their foundation, some barriers can cause issues with water flowing steadily through – namely, leaves/debris and freezing water that occurs during winter.
While residents living in climates with particularly cold winter months may encounter freezing water more, reports are forecasting a “colder, snowier than usual…winter for Texas” in 2018-2019, and those lower temperatures and precipitation is already showing up in November! It’s imperative that DFW metroplex homeowners keep an eye out for freezing water, not only in all their plumbing/piping but also for their outdoor French drains.
Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters should be a regular autumn home maintenance task, especially if you are surrounded by deciduous trees (trees whose leaves fall off at maturity). Ensuring a clear pathway for water to go through is imperative for avoiding blockages that can either cause damage/buildup or render them useless in protecting your foundation entirely by not being able to direct water away from your foundation, thereby overloading your French drain system.
Place French Drain Below Frost Line
While this tip only pertains to those who are planning on installing a French drain, it is imperative that French drains are installed properly and below the frost line in order to ensure year-round performance. This way, you can avoid obstructions due to freezing water that could damage your system due to freezing/thawing cycles. Homeowners in the DFW metroplex may not consider harsh winters, but as recent weather has shown, it’s critical to do so!
Don’t Dump Gutters Directly Into French Drain
While it may seem like its purpose, French drains are not meant to catch additional water coming from your gutters. Utilize your gutters to direct water away from your home and foundation, and French drains can work on minimizing the impact other types of water (such as from flash flooding) might have on your foundation. If your gutters are dumping water into your French drain, you may find it will get clogged up with debris and leaves, causing it to be more ineffective.
Generally, French drains require very little upkeep and maintenance for the benefit they provide to your home’s foundation, which is why a lot of residents enjoy utilizing them. However, if you start to notice excess moisture surrounding your foundation or new foundation cracks, there could be an issue with your system. Instead of diagnosing foundation cracks yourself, always call a professional foundation repair company like HD Foundations for an estimate to determine what caused the damage, and to determine what fixes are necessary to avoid further issues. Contact us today!