Surface Drains

Don't let the time and money you spend creating beautiful landscaping go to waste. Without drainage, your landscaping and hardscaping can suffer from water damage that could be easily prevented. Learn why surface drains may be the right choice for your yard.

Using Surface Drains

Surface drains are the most simple form of landscaping drainage you can choose. The system is made up of plastic tubes that are buried below the surface of the ground. The tubes simply move water from lower points in the yard and carry it to an exit point, away from the area.

The system often has fewer parts, requires less planning, and takes less time to install than other drainage options. These benefits of choosing a surface drain might make homeowners gravitate toward this simpler option. However, as with all landscaping components, there are some situations that are right for surface drains and some instances when they aren't the right choice.

Surface drains work best for these situations:

  • When a large amount of water needs to be evacuated from an area
  • When you notice water consistently flowing from a higher point to a lower point in your yard
  • When water is pooling on the surface of the ground or a hard surface
  • When water is coming from an outside source, near your yard
Surface Drains or French Drains?

While surface drains work well in the situations listed above, they aren't always the best option for all water issues. The two most well known and widely used drainage solutions are surface drains and French drains.

French drains are designed to deal with water problems that occur below the ground's surface. Like surface drains, French drains move water from problem areas to an exit point. However, they also help to keep the ground hydrated through a series of openings that allow water in and out. Surface drains, on the other hand, simply move water from one area to another. 

The Importance of Drainage

It should come as no surprise to homeowners that having standing water in your yard is not a good thing. Having proper drainage can make the difference between having a beautiful, well-hydrated lawn and having an unusable space with swampy ground. 

When water builds up on your lawn, the blades will most likely turn brown and can develop diseases that will lead to large patches of dead grass. Brown, dead grass will obviously detract from the looks of your landscaping. It can also quickly become an expensive and time consuming issue to resolve.

In addition to taking away from the look of your yard, poor drainage can also cause erosion, which can lead to your ground sloping and ruining your landscape. Erosion can wash away your plants and destroy grass along the way. Erosion is a red flag for potential home buyers, if you choose to sell your home, and can be a sign that the home may be on uneven ground.

Finally, without good drainage, water buildup can create an environment for unwelcome pests. Insects and mosquitos will be much more likely to find a home in your yard. Not only are these insects annoying, but they could cause even more damage to the plants in your yard.

Both French drains and surface drains are relatively easy to plan and install. However, French drains are less durable because of the openings allowing water to pass through. Surface drains must be much stronger, as they're placed at the ground's surface and will be put under more pressure. That means that surface drains are made from stronger materials and usually require much less maintenance over time.

What to Consider When Choosing Surface Drains

If water build up is an issue in your yard, you might be considering a surface drain. The system is helpful for many homeowners and can be installed relatively easily by professionals. When you're considering surface drains as a solution for your landscape, consider the following points to choose the right system for your situation.

  • Is there a clear point where you'd like the drain system to start? Is there an exit point where the water can be relocated to?
  • If the drains will go through an area with heavy foot traffic, be sure that you're choosing materials that will hold up to the pressure that will be put on them.
  • On areas that will have a lot of traffic, like driveways and walkways, you'll most likely want to choose a square grate, to keep the area flat.
  • If the area you're removing water from is part of the landscaping, you'll most likely want a round grate to help prevent debris from building up.

Are you having issues with water pooling in your yard? Is water coming from an outside source and creating problems with your landscaping? Call the team at Circle D Industries for a consultation. The pros can assess the area and determine what type of drainage solution will work best.


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