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French Vs Surface Drain

Choosing A Home Foundation Drainage System: French Vs Surface Drain

Commercial and residential properties with recurring rainwater issues require a well-functioning drainage system. Proper drainage prevents water from accumulating near critical structures of your home. Without these systems, water pooling can gradually damage the foundation, walls, and basements.vHowever, different drain types resolve various moisture and water damage issues. This leads people to ask which is better, french vs surface drain.

Certified contractors from Foundations MD can help you choose the right drain system best suited for your home. We thoroughly inspect your property and design custom drainage systems to suit your needs. So, to have a greater insight of these factors read this blog post till the end and make an informed decision. 

FrenchVs Surface Drain: Selecting The Right Home Foundation Drain System 

A properly functioning drainage system is necessary for both commercial and residential establishments with ongoing rainwater problems. Water doesn’t build up close to your home’s important structures when there is proper drainage. Without these measures, water accumulating might eventually harm the basement, walls, and foundation.

Different drain styles, however, address unique moisture and water damage problems. This prompts some to wonder whether French drains or surface drains are superior. You may choose the drain system that is ideal for your property with the assistance of certified contractors from Foundations MD. We perform a thorough inspection of your property before creating drainage systems that are unique to your requirements.

The Impact Specialist Perspectives Have On Drainage Systems

Get a foundation specialist to inspect your property so they can determine what kind of drainage system for the foundation you should build. While French drains may be preferable to surface drains if excessive moisture around your foundation is not a concern, surface drains can be very helpful to many homeowners. Standing water can certainly result from abrupt floods brought on by 4-5″ or more of rain in the North Texas region. Make sure that rain or other sources of moisture are directed away from your home to prevent foundation issues.

Contact FoundationMD, the best repair contractor for assistance in choosing a drainage system for your foundation. It is critical to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each system. Read these three general guidelines to prevent drainage issues with foundations for more details. Due to atypical weather patterns, the DFW area can experience rainfall levels beyond the average; as a result, you may wish to have your foundation inspected immediately.

Aspects to Take into Account Before Installation

Every drain system has distinctive characteristics. It is best to take into account the factors on your property that contribute to rainfall buildup when contrasting a French drain with a surface drain. Your property might benefit more from one drainage style than another.

Contractors will look at your location, the soil, and the kind of building being worked on before deciding between surface drain and French drain systems. When choosing drainage systems, keep the following things in mind:

Drainage requirements

To ascertain the drainage requirements, certified contractors will examine your building or residence. You’ll discover that a surface drain and a French drain are both appropriate for certain drain situations:

Surface Drains: On flat or slightly sloping surfaces, this sort of drain is often utilized to collect and eliminate extra rainwater. Patios, driveways, and walkways are a few examples. They successfully control runoff from the surface, stop flooding, and save landscaping.

French Drain: On the other side, French drains are intended to alleviate problems with subsurface water. Particularly in places with poor soil drainage or where water pools in low regions, they are more suited for rerouting and regulating groundwater.


These two drainage systems will be constructed differently in terms of materials and design. One is easier to install and simpler.

Surface Drains: This kind of drain has a flexible PVC pipe and a metal grate which makes it easy to install and construct surface drains because it needs fewer tools. It is also installed in concrete places that highly collect the water. 

 French Drain: French drains are drains that have gravel-covered trench, PVC pipe, and coverings that are permeable. This drainage system is a great choice for those who have gardens in their house because it stops soil erosion.  It is not easy to install a french drain but it lasts very long with proper maintenance.

Function and Objective

French drain systems and surface drain systems have numerous differences in how they work and where they are installed. 

Surface Drain: it is the drainage system that is made to collect an enormous amount of water which is great for people who suffer from flooding very frequently. They are located 4 ft apart from the foundation of the home. 

French Drain: french drainage systems are the systems used closer to the home foundation and effectively trap any amount of water and save the place from Soil erosion and over-saturation.


Make sure to get an estimate of both the drains before the installation process. Foundation MD can give you the best estimates considering all the vital factors in your area. Consider the project’s cost when contrasting a surface drain with a French drain as cost is one of the biggest factors in decision-making. So, here is the difference in cost between both the systems to let you make an informed decision:

French drains are expensive as compared to surface drains as they need more excavation and raw materials. In addition to this, they are also expensive due to the time-consuming process and high cost of materials. 

Surface Drain Vs. Foundation Drainage System: When To Use French Drain

It is smart to choose this type of system if your home has moisture slowly seeping beneath it and you live anywhere in the Texas region. Before there is standing water everywhere, take care of drainage problems.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that a French drain is made to collect water that is building up below the surface, not above it while selecting a French drain or surface drain. The opposite of this is a surface drain, which gathers water at the earth’s surface. You might want to read up on the steps involved in installing surface and French drains.

To build these specific kinds of systems, you must dig a trench around your foundation. To act as a moisture barrier, a non-porous plastic liner is typically laid at the bottom of the channel and stretched up against the foundation.

A perforated pipe inside the trench that is coated with around 12″ of rock or broken pebbles allows water to drain through it. If your foundation is exposed to ordinary rainfall and is not in danger of major flooding, a French drain is a decent drainage system to choose from. 

Surface Drain: When Is It Considered To Be The Best Option?

When water is accumulating directly against your concrete slab or underneath your pier and beam foundation, it makes sense to build a system of this kind as it is the best time to have a surface drain now. Water that pools or ponds is a huge problem, especially for people living in Texas as they face heavy rains. A surface drainage system is preferable to a French drain if your yard slopes negatively (in the direction of your foundation).

A 10′ run with a slope of more than 1″-1-1/2″ might cause a lot of water to infiltrate beneath your house. The high moisture content in the soil suggests that water is seeping under the soil and could be harming your home if the soil surrounding your foundation always seems to be damp. You might wish to read up on foundation repair or drainage systems. This is due to the possibility of foundation upheaval developing if the issue is not remedied by a contractor. 

Choosing One Drainage System Over The Other

Consider the following when picking between a French drain and a surface drain: A surface drainage system, which is different from a French drain, comprises collection boxes that are installed specifically for the purpose of removing water from the ground’s surface. This type of drain is what you need if you experience flooding or ponding problems.

The discharge pipes that are attached to these boxes allow water to be sent as far from your foundation as is required. Depending on whether the water is being discharged towards the street or to the outer limits of your property, they can range in length from 4′ to well over 40′. A professional in foundation work can inform you of your knowledge of both closed-top and open-top surface drainage systems.

Are you still confused about which drainage system to install in your house? Contact Foundation MD and our experts will the best advice as per your house, location, and all other important factors. So, what are you waiting for? Call Foundations MD right now and get all your home foundation and drain system problems solved by a team of highly qualified individuals.