If your landscape suffers from poor or nonexistent drainage, you should consider building a drain.
When rainwater accumulates in your landscape, it can drown plants while eroding the soil in the process. By building a drain, you’ll encourage rainwater to flow down and away from your landscape, thereby preventing problems such as these.
There are two primary types of drainage systems, however: French drains and trench drains.
What Is a Trench Drain?
Also known as a slot drain or strip drain, a trench drain is a type of water-drainage system that’s characterized by the use of a narrow channel.
To construct a trench drain, you must first dig a narrow channel to divert rainwater away from your landscape. Of course, the channel must be dug at a downhill angle so that gravity will naturally guide the rainwater.
After digging the channel – about 3 to 5 inches deep should suffice – you’ll need to place a drain liner in it. The top of the drain liner should feature a perforated surface.
When it rains, water will seep past the liner’s perforated surface and into the trench drain, at which point it will flow away from your landscape.
What Is a French Drain?
Also known as a blind drain or rock drain, a French drain is a type of water-drainage system that’s characterized by the use of a gravel- or rock-filled channel in which a perforated pipe is placed.
French drains have been around for centuries, and in that time, little has changed regarding their design.
To construct a French drain, you’ll need to dig a channel, followed by placing a perforated pipe inside the newly dug channel.
You can then fill the channel and cover the perforated pipe with gravel or rocks. The gravel or rocks will act as a filter, ensuring that only rainwater makes its way into the perforated pipe.
Choosing Between a Trench Drain and French Drain
You can use either a trench drain or French drain to improve the runoff of your landscape. Of those two water-drainage systems, however, most homeowners prefer the French drain.
When compared to trench drains, French drains are easier to construct and, more importantly, are less likely to clog with debris.
Since the top of a French drain is covered with gravel or rocks, only rainwater will enter the pipe. As a result, you don’t have to worry about pine straw, leaves or other debris clogging it.
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