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sippinjoes 06-15-2011 09:30 AM

Walkway over French Drain
I installed a French Drain along my entire back of the house (no drain tile below retaining wall). I wanted to put the flagstone pavers back where they came from, but since I can't put crushed gravel over the french drain, I am not sure how to make them level and solid. I have other places i can use the pavers, so I am not too concerned about keeping them there. In fact, I don't have enough large pavers and have to space them a lot to make it work. I don't want to use pea gravel, but I want it to drain well and still feel solid under foot. Any recommendations?

Daniel Holzman 06-15-2011 10:28 AM

I do not understand why you feel you cannot put crushed stone above your French drain. Perhaps you can describe exactly how you built the French drain. On this forum, and elsewhere, people use the term French drain to mean a lot of different things, if it is not described, it is impossible to understand exactly what was built.

AllanJ 06-15-2011 10:33 AM

If the French drain is of solid material (such as bricks) and on the surface then you would not be able to put gravel on it and you may not put a walkway over it except as a bridge. Water has to flow on the level along the French drain (a subtle ditch).

You may put gravel or flagstones etc. over an underground French drain, even one less than 12 inches below the surface.

A French drain (named after the country) is on the surface.
A French drain (named after a person) is underground.
Both are commonly found running along the perimeter of a building foundation.

sippinjoes 06-15-2011 11:26 AM

My french drain is a perforated corrugated 4" pipe laying in a bed and covered with #57 gravel. I dug a trench about 1.5' to 2' deep, laid down landscape fabric, laid in the pipe, and then covered with #57. I have the same basic setup behind the retaining wall. Both exit in the same area and is a dry creek bed under construction. If I put down anything finer than #57 (sand or 3/4 minus) it will eventually just wash into the gravel and potentially mess up flow of water. I have only used a hand tamp on the gravel and that hasn't produced a very solid walkway.

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