French Drain vs. Trench Drain: What Is the Difference?

If you are buying or renovating a home, it is better for all of you to start asking around about drainage systems. Having unsuitable drains is the worst thing that can happen to a household.

If you start gathering information on this subject, first try to find out about basics of French drain and trench drain. Each of them has its own characteristics and is suitable for different types of situation.

French Drain

French drains are considered to be one of the oldest drainage structures out there. It is a subsurface method that directs the flowing water in proper drain spots. It is usually put around the house or under the basement. French drains are great for areas suffering moisture and occasional rains. It is also good for proprieties that are built on hills. This is because of the way French drains are built.

French drains are installed underground and on top of them are garble and rocks. They are built with underground barrier trenches, made with gravel beds. At the bottom of these trenches are perforated pipes which are the connection to main water disposals (storm sewers, streets, swales etc.). To be effective they must be built on an angle (from a highest flow point to a lowest).

Water travels through the ground and downwards. With these drains any water flow that has entered your ground and had the intention of going to your foundation walls will be gently directed as further as possible.

Trench Drain

Even you do not know what trench drains are, you must have seen them at least once. They are usually put on streets, near restaurants and big buildings to ensure non slippery and dry walking areas. Unlike the French drain, the trench drain is a surface structure. Trench drains provide safety and are great for high traffic areas. Anyone can walk or cycle over a trench drain and it will still continue to function properly.

Trench drains are open drainage systems that have removable grates on top. It is far easier to maintain and it has less underground pipes. The mechanism removes the water when it reaches the surface, unlike the subsurface structures which deal with water when it gets through the ground. Also it is a preferred product in the market and so you have more choices when it comes to choosing its material.

Trench drains are great for homes that have flooding problems and negative slops. They are also preferred when trenches are needed in parking lots, driveways and around pools.  


About Draintony

We are a locally owned and operated plumbing company, providing residential and commercial owner plumbing services. We specialize in Drain Repair, Drain Cleaning, Basement Waterproofing, Sump Pump Installation, Clogged Toilets and more. Our team at Draintony is dedicated to providing you premier plumbing quality and premier plumbing services.