Basement-Waterproofing101 Waterproofing Information

November 17, 2014

Why do we call a French Drain “French”?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Picasso @ 12:58 pm

Just like french fries are not from France at all, (think Belgium in the 1600’s), the “french drain” is attributed to the wrong county as well!

French drains are an American concept first associated with a former assistant Treasury Secretary, Henry Flagg French (1813–1885) of Concord, Massachusetts.  Mr. French published a book in 1850 titled “Farm Drainage” where he described simple, sloping trenches, from high ground to low ground, filled with gravel and incorporating roofing tiles to help channel the water.

Today, french drains are an integral component of interior basement water mitigation systems.  Gravel along with weeping drain tiles (perforated pipe) are used today in combination with sump wells and sump pumps to guarantee results that can last for many years.  Exterior french drains can help eliminate nuisance  wet spots in yards as well.

So the next time you want to impress a family member eating french fries and talking about their wet basement, you can watch their jaw drop with your knowledge of these little-known facts!

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