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Knowing The Difference between Surface drains and French drains

Last updated 3 years ago

When dealing with excess moisture in the ground it is important to know the difference between a Surface drain and a French drain as they serve two very different purposes.

Why would I need a surface drainage system??
All homes require proper drainage. Homes that have poor drainage can heave. (i.e. if water ponds within 4 feet or so of the foundation after watering or rain) This heaving of the foundation causes stress to both the foundation and structure.

What is a Surface Drainage System?
A surface drainage system typically includes 9 inch by 9 inch or 12 by 12 inch area drains and 4 inch flexible PVC pipe. The system is used to collect water at ground level and channel it away from the home. If there is not enough natural grade to allow the water to gravity drain away, it may be necessary to install a sump and a pump system.

Why would I need a French drain?
?A French drain is most commonly used to collect and channel ground water to keep it from going under the home. Ground water that travels under a slab foundation can cause a foundation to go up and down repeatedly which can cause foundation problems.

What is a French Drain?
?A French drainage system typically consists of a deep trench (approximately 4 feet deep), a perforated 4" PVC pipe, a permeable wrap to go around the pipe, and gravel.  French drains are common drainage systems, primarily used to prevent ground water from migrating under the foundation.

On occasion both types of drainage may be needed and a Combo Drain is installed. 

What is a Combo Drain? 
A Combo drainage system is a French drain and a Surface drain used in conjunction with each other in the same trench to remove excessive ground and surface water from around the foundation.
 

If you have concerns that you might need drainage at your property, the analysts at Structured Foundation Repairs, Inc. are fully trained to provide a free evaluation, and prepare the proper repair plan to address your drainage and foundation needs.  Visit our website to learn more about our services.  To set up a free evaluation, call today at (972) 484-1200.

 

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