French Drain vs. Trench Drain: Explore the Differences

French Drain vs. Trench Drain: What are the Differences?

July 25, 2022

When it comes to drainage, there are a few key terms that you should be familiar with. Two of these critical terms are trench drain and French drain. While both of these drains serve the same purpose, they are actually quite different from each other. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between trench drains vs. French drains so that you can make an informed decision about which type of drain is best for your needs.

What Does a French Drain Do?

French drains are an effective way to redirect water away from problem areas on your property. They are typically made up of a perforated pipe surrounded by gravel or another type of drainage material. The water enters the French drain through the perforations in the pipe and then flows down into a suitable location for water drainage, such as a rain barrel or drain. They are often used to prevent flooding in low-lying areas or to redirect water away from buildings. French drains are an effective way to solve drainage problems on your property.

What Does a Trench Drain Do?

A trench drain system is an elongated drainage system used to remove excess surface water from an area. The trench drain system collects and channels water away from the area, preventing flooding and damage to property. In addition, the trench drain system can also help to alleviate soil erosion by intercepting runoff before it has a chance to erode the land. Trench drains are typically installed in driveway aprons, under an area of the roof missing a gutter, around swimming pools, and in other areas where water needs to be quickly removed.

How Are French Drains and Trench Drains Different?

Even though trench drains often get confused with French drains, as you can see, they´re intended for opposite purposes. So, it’s pretty simple. First, establish what kind of water issue you are experiencing or anticipate. If water accumulates somewhere on the surface around your home or any surface water management issue, trench drains are your go-to drainage system.

Drainage Holes In The Dirt Set Up

On the other hand, if you would have to deal with water penetrating the surface, finding its way to the foundations of your home or another type of structure, thus inflicting water damage such as instability or mold, then you should be looking at subsurface drainage system, in this case, French drains. Trench drains are placed where the water begins to pool on the surface and they work by intercepting and conveying water away before it has a chance to cause any damage. In comparison, French drains are installed underground, next to the foundation of a structure or underneath pavers to draw water that has already infiltrated the surface and direct it away from the area in question.

As a result, properly establishing which water drainage problem you’re dealing with will help you make an informed decision and choose the right drainage solution for your needs.

Do I Need a French Drain or a Trench Drain?

If you are unsure whether you need a trench drain or a French drain, the best course of action is to consult a professional yard drainage contractor, such as Hydroscapes. We will be able to assess your drainage needs and recommend the best type of drain for your situation. If you have any further questions about trench drains or French drains or to schedule a free consultation with one of our drainage professionals, please contact us; we would be happy to help.

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