Surface Drains vs French Drains
Providing proper drainage for your property, whether commercial or residential, is one of the most important long term preventative maintenance measures you can implement. Insufficient drainage can cause water to build up and flood basements, garages and can cause considerable damage to building foundations. Without adequate drainage, water can build up in the soil under the foundation of your home or commercial building, causing the soil to swell. When this happens, the expanding soil can cause the foundation to buckle and fracture, leading to costly and time consuming repairs. A cracked foundation reduces the value of your home or commercial property considerably, and foundation repairs can cost up to $10,000. Considering these costs, ensuring that your property has adequate drainage is essential.
The two types of drains most commonly used to tackle excess water problems are Surface Drains and French Drains.
Surface Drains vs French Drains: Design
While designs over the years have varied, modern French drain systems usually feature a trench into which a perforated pipe is laid and then covered with gravel. The perforated piping material is often easily broken, and so care must be taken when installing and working around the drain. Installing a French drain is time consuming and requires a lot of labor and design considerations.
Surface Drains, by comparison, are drains that feature a metal grating that is flush with the surface to be drained, providing a safe and convenient drainage system. Installation is straightforward and, since they are made of metal, surface drains are resistant to corrosion and breakage. Unlike French drains, surface drains can be used in concrete areas such as parking lots and garages where water tends to accumulate.
Surface Drains vs French Drains: Purpose
The design purpose of surface drains vs French drains is an important consideration when choosing what is best suited to your drainage needs.
French Drains are primarily used to drain groundwater from gardens and around the foundations of buildings. French drains are designed to move water that is trapped in the ground away or towards an area. They are best used in soil that is prone to frequent saturation from rain or flooding.
Surface Drains are used in a variety of commercial and residential applications. They are used to collect and divert large amounts of water in a short period of time. They are often placed at the bottom of sloped driveways and other similar surfaces to catch water runoff and drain it away from buildings, garages and houses.
Surface Drains vs French Drains: Effectiveness
French drains are effective at removing moisture from over-saturated soil. However, the slope of the soil has to be considerable in order for water to slowly drain through it and into the drain basin. Designed for limited use, French drains are not typically good at removing large amounts of water in a short period of time and are often overwhelmed in flooding and high rainfall conditions.
Additionally, French drains are susceptible to frequent clogging, as they are underground, and roots from trees and shrubs often displace and damage the perforated piping. These design drawbacks usually result in the drain lasting only a couple years before having to be replaced.
Surface drains from LTEC Drains are well suited for draining large amounts of water in small amounts of time. They have a flow rate that is considerably greater than French drains and are less prone to clogging. If clogging does occur, LTEC surface drains are resistant to clogging and are easily unclogged without having to dig up and remove the whole drain. While French drains are effective at removing water from highly sloped ground once it’s there, the design and purpose of LTEC surface drains keeps excess water from building up in the first place. In the battle to protect your property from excess water and flooding, the high flow, low maintenance surface drain from LTEC, designed to reduce water runoff into Lake Tahoe, is the most effective and long lasting solution.