What Is A French Drain ?

You need a good drainage system in order to have good drainage for your yard and landscape. Good drainage will come with a number of systems  and a french drain is almost always a necessity. A french drain is an outdoor trench installed in your yard surrounded by rocks and connected to a series of pipes that will carry the water away from the foundation of your house. It is installed underground so it doesn’t alter the outdoor scenery of your home but still provide an efficient drainage system to keep your foundation and the soil around it dry.

How Does it Works ?

As the water soaks into the ground during rain, it raises the water table underground. The french drain is installed in the ground so that the water can enter the pipes through a special cloth that covers the pipe and works as a filter for debris and soil around it. It is installed on a sloped elevation to help with the flow of water away from the house. The water then flows through the pipes and is distributed to the areas where it can drain without causing any drainage problems on your yard.  

Related: Drainage Solutions That Your Los Angeles House Needs

Who Needs a French Drain  ?

If you have a soggy yard or a wet basement, then a French drain is your cure. Here’s how they work, when to use them, the different types and cost. You’ll need a french drain when you have a problem with surface water, such as a soggy lawn or a driveway that washes out. Problems such as water is getting into your basement, you’re building a retaining wall on a hillside or you have a problem with surface water around your foundation such as a soggy and wet soil around your house footing.

Related : Why You Need To Install a Drainage System in The Summer
It’s best to call a professional drainage contractor whenever you experience drainage problems so that they can advise you on the best solutions to solve the problem. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free drainage inspection and estimate.

Landslide Threat

Protect Your Los Angeles Home Against Mudslides and Landslides


Mudslides and Landslides are powerful events that not only result in injuries and deaths but also cause damages of over $3 billion annually. Mudslides occur when mud flows off a hill or steep area usually because of torrential rain. Landslides also involve the sliding of rocks, debris or earth down a slope as a result of rain, earthquake or steep slopes. Both mudslides and landslides can cause very bad damage to your home or commercial property if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Mudslides and landslides most often occur on bases of slopes, existing old landslides or at the base of a steep cut slope. The following are some of the ways in which you can prevent or minimize damage to your property.Landslide Threat

Retaining Wall

A retaining wall is a structure that is build to hold soil and water. Retaining walls are very effective in preventing both mudslides and landslides and they can be built as either piling walls, cantilever walls, anchored walls or gravity walls. Retaining walls should be built by professionally licensed contractors because a weak retaining wall will be swept away and cause more damage to your property.

Related: Is A Retaining Wall Necessary ?

Diversion Channels

If your property is directly beneath a hill, it’s vital to have diversion channels in case of mudslides and landslides. These channels will divert the rocks, debris or earth around your property and you should make sure that it is not directed towards your neighbors because you will be liable for any damage, injuries or deaths.


Vegetation with very good root systems are an excellent solution to mudslides and landslides. Having the right amount of plants will prevent mudslides and landslides but having heavy vegetation might also trigger mudslides or landslides.

Related: Prevent Soil Erosion This Winter

Contact a drainage contractor to prevent a mudslide or landslide from damaging your property. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

Drainage Solutions That Your Los Angeles House Needs


Water related damage accounts for the vast majority of property damage in Los Angeles, especially homes.

There are various ways in which water can damage your house and as a homeowner you need to have the right drainage solutions to prevent any water damage to your house. Depending on the location and size of the house, there are a number of drainage solutions that your Los Angeles house can put in place to prevent any damage.

French Drain

A french drain is an underground system that collects and diverts water away from areas around your yard that are prone to water pooling. French drains are extremely important in reducing foundation damage in areas with expansive soils or poor drainage . The water moves underground and is evenly dispersed underground to prevent pooling. French drains are some of the most effective drainage solutions a homeowner can have.

Related : Peace of Mind with Concrete Waterproofing

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps basically prevent your home from flooding by automatically pumping water out of your basement or crawlspace whenever it floods. These are excellent drainage solutions if your home is in an area that is prone to flooding. Sump pumps are placed in sump pits which are in the lowest part of the house which collects channeled water and pumps it away from the structure.

Related: When is a Sump Pump Needed ?

Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are used for the proper draining of water that runs off of your roof. Gutters are a draining system that is installed around the edges of the roof and diverts water into the downspouts which are  connected to the nearby water outlet. Downspouts are pipes that channel rainwater away from the gutters and then directed away from the  property.

Related: Prepare Your Gutters For Winter

Trench Drains/Channel Drains

Trench drains collect and drain flowing water from large surfaces such as parking lots and driveways. These drains are used to prevent flooding in areas such as garages because of driveway or parking lot water runoff. They are very effective with draining huge volumes of water because they are long and linear.

Contact a drainage contractor If your Los Angeles home doesn’t have any of the aforementioned drainage systems. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free drainage inspection and estimate.



How To Choose a Drainage Contractor

How do you choose a drainage contractor ? Drainage contractors are experts who provide water management related services with regards to installation, maintenance and the supply of materials. There are different ways a homeowner can determine who is a good and reliable drainage contractor.home-exterior-drainage-system-in-los-angeles

Full Service

To choose a drainage contractor It’s important to hire a contractor that offers a wide range of services because different sets of skills other than those requested might be needed as the work progresses and new problems are discovered. A contractor should be able to address any other problems that arise as the work is going on. A drainage contractor who is able to install french drains and also build a retaining wall is better than one that only installs french drains.

Related: Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional Drainage Contractor ?

References  and Reviews

A good contractor always has good references and reviews. Checking reviews on websites such as yelp, angie’s list, facebook and bbb should always be mandatory in order to see what their previous clients think. Negative online reviews don’t necessarily mean that a company is bad but how a company responds to the negative reviews will show how a company deals with its clients.

Related: How To Choose  a Licensed Foundation Contractor ?

Licensed, Insured and Bonded

It might not seem like a big deal to verify whether a drainage contractor is licensed, insured or bonded but it is in case something goes wrong. Having an insured, licensed and bonded drainage contractor will insure that you as a client are hiring a reputable contractor that abides by regulations.  A contractor will usually have liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. Liability insurance covers damages caused by a contractor to a client’s property while workers compensation covers lost wages due to an injury or medical services.

Related :  Foundation Repair & Insurance

To hire a reliable drainage contractor, you need to check if they offer full services, their references and also check if they are licensed, insured and bonded. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

concrete parking lot work

Is Your Parking Lot Flooding ?

One of the most important aspects of a parking lot that is often overlooked is its drainage. Whether the parking lot flooding is natural or man-made, it is a hazard to drivers or pedestrians and is also very damaging to the parking lot.

concrete parking lot

Even though the parking lot might seem like it’s in good condition on the surface, the pooling water will start to eat away the sealcoating and eventually allow water to seep into the pavement and begin to oxidize and deteriorate the pavement. There are three main ways in which experts can deal with this problem of a flooding parking lot.

Parking Lot Slope

The slope of a parking lot forces water to flow to a drain or wherever it is directed instead of pooling on your parking lot. Parking lots are supposed to have a minimum of 1 percent slope in order to adequately drain water without any obstructions. Unlike the other methods of preventing flooding on a parking lot, Sloping your parking lot is the most effective in cases of storms.

Related: How Can an Asphalt Parking Lot Help Your Business ?


Curbing of your parking lot will prevent water from flowing from the surrounding areas into the parking lot or vice versa. Curbs will also collect water runoff and drain it away as required. Curbs can be built using either asphalt or concrete depending on the the amount of force it’s going to be taking. Compared to asphalt, concrete curbs are very strong and can withstand large amounts of force.

Related: Spotting Foundation Problems During Winter

Patching and Compaction

If your are experiencing parking lot flooding, puddles or low spots then it is most likely due to very heavy traffic or heavy objects above the recommended weight limit were left stationary for a long time or due to improper compaction during construction. To prevent further damage, these depressions will either have to be patched or to get the parking lot reinstalled.

Related: How to Protect Your Driveway During Winter

Contact a Parking lot contractor if you are experiencing any parking lot flooding or puddles. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.


winter drainage problems los angeles

Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional Drainage Contractor ?

Hundreds if not thousands of home and property owners experience a water damage or emergency at home or work everyday. For a homeowner, water problems are the worst nightmare because of the damage that water is likely to cause.winter drainage problems los angeles

Water can cause damage that not only damages your property but can significantly devalue your house or cause serious health issues. You need to put certain things into consideration before deciding to do it yourself or to hire a professional drainage contractor:


Damage, Safety and Reliability should be put into consideration before Before you decide to repair any drainage problems.

The kind of damage you are experiencing should be be a good indicator of whether you need a drainage contractor or not. If the damage is extensive, then you obviously won’t have the necessary tools to handle that kind of problem and trying to will only worsen it. The location of the drainage damage is also very critical because damages that are too close to your neighbors’ property might cause problems for your neighbors if not fixed professionally fixed or drainage problems that are too close you house foundations might cause more serious damages if not adequately taken care of by a professional.

Related: How To Choose A Drainage Contractor

Safety is one of the most important considerations you need to take as you decide whether to do it yourself or hire a professional drainage contractor. A broken sewer can compromise the health of the homeowner and his family if they don’t handle it properly. Kids and pets can easily get in contact with the leaking sewer. Electrical wirings are also a big concern when it comes to drainage repair because not all homeowner know how to handle electrical wires.

Related: Hiring a Foundation Waterproofing Contractor

Drainage contractors are professionally trained to do what they do and they have done most of the drainage repairs multiple times so they are reliable. Drainage contractors are there to solve the problem and find its source, unlike homeowners who are likely to only fix what’s visible hence the recurrence or worsening of the problem. So the question to do it yourself or hire a professional drainage contractor shouldn’t really be a tough one.

Related: Drainage Solutions That Your Los Angeles House Needs

So don’t be quick to fix the next drainage problem but contact a drainage contractor. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free drainage inspection and estimate.


timber retaining wall contractor in los angeles

Prevent Soil Erosion This Winter

Soil erosion is when the upper most layer of the soil is moved from one spot to another by a number of agents. Soil erosion mostly occurs during the winter season unlike the other seasons because of agents such as heavy rain, strong winds, mudslides and runoff.timber retaining wall contractor in los angeles

Contrary to popular belief, soil erosion is not only a problem for farmers but is just as bad of a problem for homeowners too. Even though soil erosion is natural, homeowners can take certain measures to prevent soil erosion.

Water Control

Water can cause a number of soil erosion related problems such exposing the tree roots, destroying the soil fertility that is needed for a good landscape and yards can be pretty unsightly after soil deposition. The use of proper drainage systems and the construction of good driveways can help prevent these problems. The use of rain gutters, trench channel drains and and having a professionally installed driveway will help to drain the water without causing erosion.


Related: Signs You Might Have Poor Drainage 

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are not only a decoration but they also do serve a number of functional purposes such preventing soil erosion. For houses that are built on hillsides, runoff is inevitable and so is soil erosion which comes with it. A retaining wall will level a steep landscape and prevent runoff which might cause soil erosion.

Related: Why You Should Hire A Professional Foundation Contractor To Build Your Retaining Wall ?

Plant Vegetation

Trees or other types of plants have root systems which stabilize the soil and prevent soil erosion. Planting vegetation is the easiest and cheapest way of dealing with soil erosion. You can plant trees, shrubs and flowers as a way of enhancing your yard’s landscape but at the same time use it to prevent soil erosion.

Related: Protect Your Los Angeles Home Against Mudslides and Landslides

You need to hire an expert to implement the water control techniques or to build a retaining wall. Contact California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to get a free inspection and estimate.

drainage system los angeles

Yard Drainage Problems During Winter

It’s normal to have a flooded yard for a few hours after a rain storm, but if your yard turns into a swamp every time it rains then you seriously need to consider hiring a drainage contractor. 

big rain on the roof

Pooling water in your yard should be taken very seriously because it can cause some very costly damages to your property and belongings. There are three main ways in which Yard drainage problems during winter can cause damage.


Even though plants do need water to grow, too much of it will kill them.  Excess rain can cause erosion which in turn exposes the roots and compromises the plants. Too much water also cuts out oxygen to the plants by filling up all the air pockets in the ground and stopping the process of photosynthesis and the plants start to die out. To prevent yard drainage problems, a professional will have to install a Catch Basin or Atrium Grates to remove excess water from plants. The Catch basin or Atrium Grates will later drain into a Flo-Well.

Related: Causes and Solutions To Common Drainage Problems


Water shouldn’t flow from the driveway into your house or garage as that might not only damage your property but it’s likely to damage your belongs too. Channel drains and grates are used to prevent the flow of water into your garage or house. Channel drains will capture flowing water over a large area and channel it to the grates.


Excess water near your house will eventually find it’s way to your foundation and cause some serious problems. Once water manages to seep through your foundation, it will cause cracks to your foundation and walls or mold. To prevent this, a drainage contractor will have to install an underground downspout extension which guides water away from your foundation and guides it to a flo-well.

Related: 3 Ways Rain Can Damage Your Foundation


You should hire a professional drainage contractor to help you solve yard drainage problems during winter. Contact California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to get a free inspection and estimate.

waterproofing foundation walls in los angeles

Does Foundation Waterproofing Help ?

It’s estimated that US households exceed over 1 trillion gallons of water in annual leakages and that the cost to repair the damages caused by these leakages can go as high as $27,000 for each homeowner.waterproofing foundation walls in los angeles

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of foundation waterproofing is the cost and whether it’s effective. Foundation waterproofing will help you prevent any water related problems such as mold, cracks, pest infestations and bad odors.


Prevents Flooding

Basement and crawlspace flooding is the overflowing of water into the basement or crawlspace through leaky plumbing or foundation walls and floors. Basement and crawlspace flooding is a potential problem for all homeowners regardless of their location or building type. Foundation waterproofing will prevent the seepage of water through your foundation in cases of heavy rain or when you happen to have a bad drainage system.

Related: Hiring A Foundation Waterproofing Contractor 

Good For Your Health

A non waterproofed foundation will allow water and moisture to enter your foundation or basement, therefore causing mold and encouraging insects to live in your basement or crawlspace. Mold and certain types of insects can be very harmful to your health. A waterproofed foundation will prevent moisture in your basement or crawlspace, hence mold or insects won’t exist.

Protects Your Investment

Having a waterproofed foundation is a perfect way of continually maintaining and improving the value of your property. A weakened or damaged foundation will greatly impact the value of your house. Foundation waterproofing will prevent any costly foundation damage which may be caused by water seepage into the foundation.

Related : Are You Planning To Buy A House ? 5 Things You Need To Know About Foundations.


You should hire a foundation waterproofing  professional if you want to prevent any damage to your property or foundation. Contact California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

water problems foundation damage

My Foundation Is Leaking, What Do I Do ?

My foundation is leaking, what do i do ? is the question most homeowners ask themselves because of the lack of  adequate preparation for the winter season.water problems foundation damage

A Basement or foundation leaking are a common problem that is usually experienced during the winter season. If you happen to be one of these unfortunate homeowners, You can follow the following steps to take care of the basement or foundation leaking .

Determine The Source

It’s important to determine the source of the leak before you do anything else.The source of the leak will determine how serious the leak is and what kind of methods you’re going to use to solve the leaking basement or foundation leaking. Basement or foundation leaks can range from non serious to very serious leaks that are capable of  depreciating your property’s value. It’s always advisable to let a professional determine what is causing the foundation leaking.

Related: Ways Of Waterproofing Your Foundation Fore Winter

Call A Professional

After you’ve determined the source of the leaks, it’s imperative to know that you should never try to fix certain serious problems but instead call a professional to fix them, because self repairs might just worsen the situation. A professional will determine the source of the foundation leaking, the right methods of solving the leaks and how to prevent future leaks.

Related: Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional Drainage Contractor ?

Fixing The  Problem 

A leaking basement or foundation leaking can be caused by a number of reasons such as a deteriorating basement or foundation, bad soil conditions, faulty or non functioning gutters, bad plumbing, poor drainage system or a leaky roof. A professional will recommend the best solutions to your problems be it installing or fixing gutters, drainage system or waterproofing your foundation or basement.

Related : 5 Main Reasons For Foundation Repair

Call a professional to inspect or to repair any foundation leaking that you might be experiencing. Call California Foundation Works on (323) 418-2239  to to get a free inspection and estimate.

Your Winter Preparedness Checklist for Your House Should Look Like This

Winters in the Los Angeles area can range from moderate to property damaging storms.

Harsh winter conditions can cause flooding, wind damage and expanding soils which are all bad for your house, but you can still prevent your house from winter damage. Here’s the winter preparedness checklist to help you prepare your house for winter:

Foundation and Wall Cracks

Foundation cracks and wall cracks are signs of serious foundation damage. Since water is usually the main cause of foundation damage, it is necessary to solve or repair any foundation damage before winter which could be worsened by the rainwater. You need to make sure that your foundation is in very good condition before the start of winter.

Clogged Gutters and Leaky Roof

A leaky roof or clogged gutters could spell big trouble during winter. Clogged gutters will cause water to overflow and hence either seep through the foundation or cause flooding in your yard. A leaky roof is usually very bad because if the leak is in a hidden area,it won’t be discovered until the damage to the house is bad. Professionals can better assess how to identify leaks and repair them.

Related: Prepare Your Gutters for Winter

Bad drainage system

A bad drainage system will cause soil erosion or flooding on your yard. No matter how heavy the rain is, a good drainage system should be able to direct the rainwater accordingly in order to prevent any damage to the house or yard. A bad drainage can be fixed by the use of proper systems such as french drains, catch basins, flo-wells, downspouts or the use of proper techniques such as soil grading and retaining walls.

Related: Draining Solution Tips For The Los Angeles Homeowner

Hire an Expert

You need to hire an expert in order to successfully inspect and achieve everything on the winter preparedness checklist. Call California Foundation Works on (323) 418-2239 for a free inspection and estimate.

Drainage Problems

Signs You Might Have Poor Drainage

Not only do most drainage problems occur during winter but winter rain also tends to expose a lot of underlying drainage issues, which are usually hidden before the start of winter.Drainage Problems

To identify a poor drainage system, you should be on the lookout for the following signs:   

Pooling water

Pooling water is a classic sign of a poor drainage system that needs immediate attention because the water is stagnant. It’s normal for water to pool during heavy rains but it  shouldn’t last long as that signals a bad drainage system. A number of measures can be taken such as installing french drains, drywells, sump pumps or catch basins drain.

Related: When is a Sump Pump Needed

Overflowing gutters

Gutters shouldn’t overflow and it should be a cause for concern if they do. Gutters are meant to direct rainwater away from the building in order to prevent water damage. To prevent overflowing gutters, you should clean them out regularly, check the pitch and tilt, install guards that prevent debris from falling into the gutters or the ones that prevent water from splashing over the gutters onto the ground.

Related: Prepare Your Gutters For Winter

Cracks on walls and foundation

Certain types of cracks on the walls and the foundation can mean that you have a poor drainage system. Most foundation problems are caused by water, so if you have any signs of foundation damage, the chances of having a poor drainage are very high. Cracks on the corners of your windows and doors are a sign that you might have a compromised foundation. Stair step cracks are also a serious indication of foundation damage and horizontal cracks are a classic sign of foundation damage.

Water stains on the floor and walls

After water seeps into the walls of the basement or foundation, you can expect to see certain types of stains on the walls or floor of the basement or foundation. Efflorescence, water marks, reddish stains or dark stains are the most common types of stains experienced by basements and foundations experiencing water seepage. Other types of stains are caused by water that is directly dripping off the roof or water pipes.

Related : What Is A French Drain ?

Contact a drainage contractor to repair your poor drainage system . To get a free drainage inspection estimate Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239.