How to Choose a Michigan Lawn Drainage Contractor (What Some Contractors Don’t Want You to Know)
What other Michigan lawn drainage contractors do not want you to know is that in order to have a great French drain, you need to remove a lot of dirt. A lot of these guys, they’re not equipped to haul out this clay. They’re not equipped to dig out this clay. That’s why trenchers are so popular. It’s super easy just to take a trencher and go ahead and make a six inch groove. It throws the dirt to the side of the trench. You go ahead and you put your pipe in it. You pour some stone on the pipe and then they push the dirt back in. That’s why these drains need inlet basins. You see these guys all the time on YouTube, talking about how you have to have an inlet basin to take in the water, otherwise, a French drain won’t work. Absolutely their French drains will not work without inlet basins.
You’ll notice that the French Drain Man team is very equipment heavy. You see the trucks, we got some big diesel powered trucks. We have some really big gooseneck trailers. We can haul out 20 yards of clay and you see as hauling in all the stone. What makes a great French drain is removing all that heavy soil, all that clay, or just low to no percolation. The soil that’s just poor soil, haul it away. You don’t want to put any of that back in. You go ahead and you cut your sod off and you cut it as thick as you can. And you grab as much root as you can, but that’s it. That’s all you’re putting back on top of your French drain system if you want it to work fantastic. Not just work for a couple days or a couple weeks, because that’s what a lot of Michigan lawn drainage contractors are doing.
A lot of drainage contractors want to build a maintenance drain, a drain where they have to come out and maintain it because now these inlet basins drew in contaminants, and they completely destroyed the French drain system that didn’t have very much stone to begin with.
Another mistake is that they won’t use filter fabric They don’t want you to think the fabric works, because the fabric is going to cost them money and hurt their bottom line. It’s going to mean more labor. The whole thing is really just smoke and mirrors. These lawn drainage contractors want to bad mouth fabric, and they want to talk about how you’ve got to put in inlet basins on a French drain. That’s because what they’re building you is an inferior French drain system that will require their ongoing maintenance.
Now the key to a great French drain is to haul the dirt away, dig out a lot of the dirt and replace it with a lot of pipe and stone. When you see us put dirt on plywood, that’s because it’s a downspout run. So we’ll run an underground downspout run towards the French drain system. Once we get that solid pipe in, we’ll go ahead and pack that dirt back in and put the sod over top. So right now we’re putting in a run for a downspout, but you’ve seen what we were doing for the French drain system. We were taking all that clay and we were hauling it away, but you need a fleet of ditch witches and mini-loaders, and you got to be equipment heavy on trailers and trucks. And these handyman with a van and a worn out trencher, they are far from being equipped to build you a quality French drain system.
So all I’m going to tell you is rule one, a good Michigan lawn drainage contractor will remove a lot of the heavy soil. A lot of the poor percolating soil. And remember, when it comes to construction work, things are exactly as they appear. The guys that roll up and have done well in their career, they have the equipment to do it right. And the ones that are just barely getting by and they’re just making beer money. Yeah, they pull up in their van and a little utility trailer, and a 40 year old trencher. And they’re trying to sell you on how that’s going to be a good French drain.
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