Surface or French Drainage?
Quite often when we receive phone calls for a drainage estimate; most people will ask for a french drain estimate, but rather 90% of the time they need a surface drain. What is the difference you ask? Below, we have written a few paragraphs that will help you in your search for the appropriate lawn drain.
The main purpose of a surface drain is to remove large amounts of water quickly from the problematic area within your yard. A perfect example of a surface drain is a rain gutter. A rain gutter will collect large amounts of rushing rain water and direct it into one centralized location which is the discharge pipe. Although, we do not actually install rain gutters, we do install surface drains to collect the rain water exiting the rain gutter pipe and discharge that water into the street. This will prevent water from flooding areas within your lawn. Another important component of a surface are catch basins. Catch basins are square boxes with green colored grates on top that are strategically placed in low areas throughout your lawn to capture any additional rain water. All collected water is once again routed to drainage pipes and discharged into the street.
French drainage is needed when areas within your yard are always muddy or soggy despite having rain. How a French drain is different from a surface drain is that there are no visible opens at surface level. A French is composed of excavating a trench for the drainage pipe, lining the hole with a filter like fabric, placing the French drain pipe at the bottom of the trench, and finally backfilling the trench with gravel. What this does is create a path of least resistance for the water to enter the trench filled with gravel. Once the trench fills with water, its enter holes placed throughout the drainage pipe and is routed to discharge in the street.