French Drains, Best Cover Material?


I'm putting in a 1'x1' french drain around the side of my house, and I'm wondering what would be the best material would be to cover the top few inches of the trench. The soil around here is mostly clay, and it seems like a better idea not to use clay to fill in the top with, as I'd like to allow for as much drainage in through the top as possible.
I plan on using 4" perforated flexible pipe, wrapped in a fabric sock, with the remainder of the trench being filled to within 3 inches of ground level with some leftover driveway gravel. I might use fabric around the gravel as well.
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My guy used a layer of straw and then some coarse gravel over that before filling back in with topsoil that has a lot of clay in it.
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wrote:

Theres a sock that fits over the pipe.
I do have to ask are yu trying to fix a water problem in your basement?
If you are surface control will likely fail. Theres no harm in trying but you need to know.
If its water leaking in basement a interir french drain is a far better choice
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How do you construct an interior french drain ???
James
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If its water leaking in basement a interir french drain is a far better choice
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Isnt Interior is what people retrofit when they have none and standard for new construction is outside, where the water comes down.
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-snip-

I agree that interior is better than a shallow exterior drain. But if you want to do it right- then buy a couple of new shovels & dig down to below the footers on the outside.
Backfill with river-run gravel & sand, machine compacted to a point where it gives no more. [compact every 6" or so as you backfill.]
Either way you've got a pants-load of work ahead of you. Skimp on it and it will *all* be for naught. If it is worth doing- it is worth doing right. . .the first time.
Jim
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I spent 8 grand installing exterior french drain and was the laborer: ( had a backhoe do the heavy digging, vast truckloads of dirt hauled away, huge truckloads of gravel hauled in.......
8 months after work complete, water back in basement....
spent 3500 bucks for interior french drain all nce and dry.......
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The current problem is that water is coming in through the ventilation cutouts, which are below grade, which is being caused by the bass ackwards grading that was done before the house was constructed. Once I solve that problem, there won't be any need for an interior drain. My "basement" is actually just a three foot crawlespace btw.
The street is about 40' in front of the house, the house sits about a foot below street level, yet the original grade, which rises about two feet in between the house and the street, was left unaltered, so everything in the front yard runs toward the house. Dainage isn't an issue on one side of the house, since the grade tilts downward on that side, but the other side of the house takes about a third of the front yard in addition to the uphill runoff from the neighbor's yard. All of this runs right up against the side of our house, where some of it them makes its way into the crawlspace ventilation cutout. Also, water runs around the back of the house, which makes thar area soggy.
I'll probably have to dig up the metal dirt sheilds in front of the vents when I replace the vents with some that are closeable from the outside, so I'll caulk around them when I put them back. Regardless, I'm going to put in the french drain to keep the area from getting saturated.
I already have most of it dug.
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The though of using mulch for the top layer had crossed my mind, but it's a little light, and the mower would probably suck it up and sling it everywhere.
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Exactly how is an interior french drain constructed ????
James
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wrote:

Same as an outside one- except that you often need to cut a concrete floor to get to the soil.
Actually Mr. French made a whole lot of different kind of drainage ditches for farms. It seems like most folks, when they say 'French drain' are thinking of a ditch filled with gravel- and sometimes a perforated drain pipe.
I've also seen it used to refer to the perimeter drain formed in a basement by sinking a 2x4 around the perimeter & pulling it once the floor is poured.
Jim
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You need to read up or talk maybe to the city engineer, architect, or inspector its free. Many systems clog in few years if its done wrong, mine is 90yrs old and still flowing fast.
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ShadowTek wrote:

That sounds like a great plan if you are going down to the footer or further. If it's up higher it won't do much more than rain gutters and proper grading would do.
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As decribed in my other post, the grading sucks, and there isn't anything that can really be done about that. There's less that 10 feet to work with from the side of the house to the neighbor's fence, and we have several maple trees in the front that aren't going anywere.
There are 3 gutters that empty onto that side of the yard, and I piped them all together and ran them below the back yard last year. It worked just fine, but there's still way too much water in that area, even without the gutters' help.
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