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What Are the Differences Between a French Drain and a Trench Drain?

Differences Between a French Drain and a Trench Drain

Too much water sitting around your property isn’t something to ignore. All of this water can lead to major problems down the road, particularly if it’s settling in a problematic area like around your residential home or commercial building’s foundation. In order to know how to solve it, let’s take a deeper look at your two main solutions: a french drain or a trench drain.

Table of Contents

  • What is a French Drain System? 
  • What is a Trench Drain System? 
  • What is the Difference?
  • Contact Complete Trenchless

What is a French Drain System? 

Bob Vila tells us that french drain is essentially a ditch in the ground, inset with a perforated pipe under a layer of gravel. The pipe is very important, because it funnels water seeping into the ground away from where you don’t want it. The french drain then deposits that water in a more desirable place, like a storm drain or a rain barrel

Think of a french drain like gutters for your yard. While gutters collect precipitation as it runs off the roof, a french drain instead manages water at the ground level. Let’s say that after a particularly bad rainstorm, water seeps up and pools in a low spot on your property. It does this every time. Rerouting the flow of water with a french drain would alleviate this water problem.

What is a Trench Drain System? 

Trench drains divert excess water away from the surface. They are usually lined with concrete and sloped appropriately to take advantage of gravity, letting this natural force divert the flow of water away. Steel grates or other filters are used to cover the trench drain to keep it from getting clogged with debris such as leaves, mud, and sticks. 

This type of drain is ideal for managing excess rainwater in concrete areas such as parking lots, sidewalks, and driveways.

What is the Difference?

Now that you have a bit more information, you have a few more questions. What’s the difference between the two? Because french drains are buried underneath earth or rocks, they’re out of view. That’s the main difference between your two options. The main difference between a french drain and a trench drain is that a french drain is used for water that is underground while a trench drain diverts excess water from the ground’s surface. 

Contact Complete Trenchless

Getting the right solution isn’t always easy. You don’t need to handle this big water problem on your own! Washington homeowners have Complete Trenchless to rely upon. We can come over and take a look at your yard, parking lot, basement, or other area that is too wet, too often. It’s quite possible you need our professional crew to build either a trench drain or french drain system to alleviate this moisture problem. Soon, your water problem will be a thing of the past!


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