What Is a French Drain Used For?

When it comes to plumbing, there are a lot of words and features that aren’t common knowledge. At POM Plumbing, we’re making it our mission to educate the masses so that the average Joe knows what he needs and what to ask for. Today, let’s take a look at what the French drain is used for. What is a French drain? Let’s start there.

What Is a French Drain?

A French drain is, simply put, meant to prevent flooding at lower points in the ground. They’re most commonly found at the base of a sloping driveway – in front of the garage – and at the lower end of a sloped yard.

The drain prevents flooding and, instead, redirects water away from the house and yard. If there’s a nearby storm drain, your French drain can redirect water to there. Otherwise, a nearby ditch will do just fine.

When Is It Needed?

If you’re experiencing any kind of flooding or pooling because part or all of your yard or driveway is sloped, you can benefit from a French drain. These are especially valuable to people with a sloped driveway that leads to their garage flooding repeatedly. To prevent this, and prevent long-term damage to the garage and its contents, a drain should be installed in front of the garage door.

If your yard is the victim of flooding, a French drain can be installed at its low point. We can even cover the drain in gravel or garden rocks to make it function like an accessory to your garden. There’s no reason your drain should detract from the overall appearance of your yard.

How Is It Installed?

What is the installation process like? It depends on where it’s being installed.

If your French drain is being installed in your yard, the process is fairly simple. We’ll start by digging a trench the length of the future drain. We’ll also need to dig a trench where any drainage pipe is laid. The drain will be installed in the trench. The drain is shaped kind of like a trough with a grate on top. This grate can be covered with decorative stones or large enough gravel.

Installing a French drain at the base of a driveway is a bit harder. A large enough part of the driveway will have to be broken apart to accommodate the new drain. Once the drain is in place, any remaining gaps can be filled with more asphalt, patched with a filler, or mended any number of ways. A drain placed at the base of a driveway can also be covered in gravel, but is just as well left completely uncovered. The benefit to covering it in gravel is that the drain is less likely to build up sediment that can get caught in the gravel like a filter.

How Can I Get a French Drain in Toronto?

If you’re looking for a French drain to be installed somewhere in Toronto, POM Waterproofing is here to help. Give us a call and we can give you a visit to work up a price estimate. We look forward to hearing from you and improving your yard’s drainage!

How to Prevent Roof Water Runoff from Pooling

If you’re having a tough time with roof water runoff pooling in your yard, POM Waterproofing is here to help. We know how frustrating it can be to have your yard looking like a swamp because of improper runoff management. So, let us help you with these simple solutions to prevent roof water runoff from pooling.

Gutter to French Drain Connection

Even with gutters that work how they’re supposed to, you can end up with roof water runoff pooling. Many gutters are installed so that they offload roof water runoff into a tray beside the house. The problem is, this method of dispersing water into the yard doesn’t end well if there’s a lot of rain in the area.

Instead of letting water pool in your yard, you should rely on a connection between your gutter and a French drain. 

French Drain Installation

To prevent yard flooding from roof water runoff, you’re going to want something called a French drain. These drains are elongated traps for water – like a gutter that’s installed in the ground. These drains are frequently used to prevent yard flooding as well as garage flooding. They can be installed at the bottom of a sloped driveway or yard. Or, in this case, they can cut through a yard that has a low point that tends to flood.

French drains are typically covered in a grate, gravel, or garden rocks. Water will flow past these coverings and collect in the drain. The water is then redirected away from the house, keeping the soil around your home from becoming saturated. If you connect the end of your runoff gutter to your French drain, the drain will take away roof water runoff as well as any excess water in the yard.

Prevent Pooling Without a French Drain

If your yard doesn’t have any pooling issues aside from what comes from the runoff gutter, you may not need a French drain. While French drains have a similar installation process to a redirection drain, they are visible from the surface. So, if you would prefer not to see garden stones or gravel where a French drain is installed, we can install a subterranean redirection drain instead.

A redirection drain, while not an official name, is simply a pipe that will redirect water away from the house. For example, if there is a rain ditch near your home, we can install a pipe that connects the end of your runoff gutter to the rain ditch. Then, any roof water runoff will simply run, underground, to that rain ditch, completely skipping your yard.

Professional Drain Installation in Toronto

If you need a redirection drain or French drain installed to prevent pooling in your yard, call us at POM Waterproofing. We look forward to getting your yard back to working order and looking its best.

How Do I Prevent Yard Flooding?

Yard flooding is a huge issue for more than just aesthetic reasons. While a flooded yard is unsightly, difficult to traverse, and quick to kill the grass, it also puts your basement at risk of flooding. The water pooling in your yard will seep into the ground and then attempt to get past basement walls. So, how can you prevent yard flooding?

French Drains and Their Use

To prevent yard flooding, you’re going to want to take advantage of something called a French drain. These drains are elongated traps for water – like a gutter that’s installed in the ground. These drains are frequently used to prevent yard flooding as well as garage flooding. They can be installed at the bottom of a sloped driveway or yard. 

French drains are typically covered in a grate, gravel, or garden rocks. Water will flow past these coverings and collect in the drain. The water is then redirected away from the house, keeping the soil around your home from becoming saturated with water. When surrounding soil is considerably wet, the water will travel to where basement walls or your foundation are and find its way in through small cracks, invisible to the naked eye. This can lead to basement flooding as well as expensive structural damage.

Installing a French Drain

Installing a French drain will involve some invasive digging. A trench will be dug through your yard, where water collection is desired. Once the drain is installed, however, it can be covered up again in a way that hides it from view. Whether you want to use garden gravel or stones to cover the drain is up to you and what you want your yard to look like when it’s finished.

Prevent Yard and Basement Flooding

When your French drain is installed, your yard will no longer flood when it rains. Instead of pooling at the low part of your yard, the water will collect in the drain and flow away from the house. A French drain may have an outlet in a nearby storm drain or ditch. If you live in a rural area, the redirection may just end a short distance away, at a lower level than the house. That way, the water will collect in the ground without causing any structural issues to your home.

With water being moved away from the home, the soil around your basement will remain much dryer. This significantly lowers the chance of your basement taking on moisture or completely flooding. If you’re experiencing basement moisture or flooding issues even after installing a French drain, you may need to consider exterior basement waterproofing or damp proofing.

French Drain Professionals

If you need a French drain installed in the GTA, POM Waterproofing is the help you need. Call us today and let us take a look at the area you’re looking to install in. We can set up an appointment and get your new drain installed as soon as possible to prevent damage to your yard or home.

Why Are My Basement Windows Leaking?

Are your basement windows leaking? Leaky basement windows can be quite an issue, especially if your basement is otherwise finished. Water leaking in can dampen carpet or get on belongings and lead to all kinds of issues. So, Let’s sort out the cause of your basement windows leaking and then find the solution to fix it.

Condensation Vs. Infiltration

The first thing we have to determine about your basement moisture problem is whether it’s caused by condensation or infiltration. You may not realize it, but poorly installed windows, or those that have been installed for many years, can cause enough condensation buildup to appear leaky. This is because old windows lose their insulation over time, allowing the cold, outdoor temperature to draw moisture toward the window from inside.

On the other hand, some windows are working perfectly fine and are just getting overloaded with water. Water pooling against a window is enough to make any window leak. That’s when water infiltration happens, leaving you with a stream of dirty water pooling into your basement. Yuck!

Ground Level

To figure out whether you’re dealing with condensation or infiltration, you should start by knowing where the ground level is. If the ground is above the bottom of your window, there’s a good chance it’s infiltration. However, the easiest way to check is to see if the inside pane of the window is wet. Swipe a hand across the top of the pane. Is it damp? Fogged up? If so, you might just need to lower the moisture levels in your basement, or consider replacing the window to improve insulation.

If the top of your window pane is dry, you’re almost definitely experiencing a leak. Even better signs are visible water pooling at the window or witnessing the leak in action. However, there’s no reason to wait until the next time it rains to take action.

Window Well Waterproofing

If your window is leaking due to water flowing toward it from the ground level, the best solution is window well waterproofing. Fortunately, window well waterproofing is a simple procedure that will stop basement windows leaking and keep your home dry, as intended.

Window well waterproofing is as simple as digging some of the soil out from in front of the window, putting down a drain, attaching your new drain to an outflowing pipe, and then covering the drain in gravel, to keep out debris.

Window Replacement

Some leaky basement windows continue to have moisture problems because they also have condensation issues. If your window is frequently collecting moisture, this is an easy way to develop mold. Old windows that don’t insulate enough to keep away condensation should be replaced when possible.


If you’re not keen on replacing the windows in your basement, you can also invest in a small dehumidifier. This will suck the moisture out of the basement air, making condensation harder to accumulate, even if the insulation of the window is poor.

If you’ve got questions about window well waterproofing or other basement waterproofing procedures, give us a call at POM Waterproofing. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Prevent Garage Flooding from Rain

Are you struggling to keep rain water from pooling in your garage? This is an unfortunately common struggle with houses positioned at the bottom of a hill or with a down-sloping driveway. However, POM Waterproofing is happy to assure you that there is a very effective solution. Here’s how you can prevent garage flooding when it rains near your home.

Trench and French

The solution to garage flooding is actually very simple. To keep rain water out of your garage, all you need is a combination of a trench drain and a French drain. These are two kinds of drains that, when used together, can stop water in its tracks and reroute it.

The trench drain is installed in front of the garage, spanning the length of the garage entrance. This small, unobtrusive drain has slots in it that allow water to flow into it. From there, the trench drain connects to the French drain, which directs the water elsewhere.

Redirecting Rain Water

What exactly does it mean to redirect rain water? It’s not as hard as it sounds. Instead of letting water just pool inside a drain and stay there, we install a French drain as well. The French drain connects the lower end of the trench drain and runs further away from the house. This French drain gives the same assistance to your yard that a ditch gives to the roads. It simply moves runoff to somewhere less obtrusive. 

If you have a ditch near your house, the French drain may be able to simply connect there and dump the rain water from your driveway into a public drain. If there’s no ditch in sight, that’s no problem at all. The French drain doesn’t need an outlet. It can simply offload excess water into the ground, far enough away from your house that it’s at no risk of running back toward it.

The Process

The process of installing these drains can be slightly involved. If you have a cement driveway, we may need to break away the part closest to the garage entrance to allow space for your new trench drain. Any gaps between the driveway and trench drain upon completion can be patched up easily. 

Dirt or gravel driveways are even easier to install in. We’ll have to dig a small trench across the front of the garage entry, but can cover the area with gravel again when we’re done. In the case of a dirt driveway, the trench drain will remain visible.

The French drain will likely involve digging a small trench through your yard. However, we can dig this along the side of the driveway, avoiding damage to your landscaping. It’s also possible for grass to be pulled back during the trench digging process and then pushed back into place aftward, as the surface layer of dirt is held together by grass roots. That makes the French drain installation process fairly easy to recover from, visually.

Reliable Installation

If you’re looking for reliable French drain installation, trench drain installation, or general help to prevent garage flooding in Toronto, POM Waterproofing is the place to call. We look forward to working with you.