Q: I read your article on household odors caused by gases trapped in the drains of the basement. Can this also be caused by french drains? If so, how can I eliminate them? Thanks for your help!

A french drain is a piece of perforated pipe that is typically used outside in order to get water away from your house. I’ve used it in several places to get water to move away from a low-lying area around our porch.

But because the pipe is perforated, I’d think that gases wouldn’t get trapped inside the pipe. There would always be air moving around and so the gases would permeate.

That said, I suppose it’s possible for gases to build up. I’d pay a visit to your local home improvement store to see if they have any suggestions for you.

Thanks for writing,

My friend Tim Carter has an excellent website that talks about French Drains. Check it out at www.askthebuilder.com.

Oct. 7, 2006.