When to use a French Drain vs Yard Drain with Catch Basin

When to Use a French Drain vs Yard Drain with Catch Basin

Many homeowners have yard drainage issues that result in standing water, damaged foundations, or flooded basements. If your foundation is compromised by excess water, how do you know when to use a French drain vs yard drain with catch basin? Determining which system will resolve your yard drainage issues comes down to understanding the differences between them.

Primary Differences Between Yard Drainage Systems

The primary difference between yard drainage systems is that French drains move water below ground level, or subsurface water, and yard drains manage surface water. The installation methods and materials also differ for each system.

A good rule of thumb is to use a French drain if you don’t have any standing water in your yard. If you have standing water, you may need to use a yard drain with a catch basin to reroute that water away from your home. However, for the best results, homeowners may want to install a French drain along with their catch basins for maximum protection.

French Drain vs Yard Drain: Purpose

The main purpose of a French drain is to move excess water away from your home’s foundation. Groundwater that gets under a slab of foundation can cause heaving and result in costly repairs, so moving moisture away from your home is essential. If your soil is prone to oversaturation from heavy rain or flooding, a French drain will safely discharge any water trapped in the ground. French drains preemptively funnel water away to prevent drainage issues.

Yard drains efficiently move large volumes of water in a short amount of time. They’re typically installed to catch roof runoff water and drain it before it can cause severe damage to your home’s foundation and structure. Yard drains with catch basins drain large amounts of water as they occur, rather than preventing issues with standing water.

French Drains vs Yard Drains: Installation Methods

French drains have evolved over the years into a low-maintenance drainage solution for homeowners. They’re installed by lining a trench with drainage fabric, placing a perforated pipe on the material, and covering it with round rock. In contrast, yard drains are installed using solid corrugated pipe and omit the drainage fabric.

When is a French Drain the Best Solution?

Understanding When to Use a French Drain

When deciding if a French drain is best for your yard, it’s essential to understand when to use it. A French drain is an excellent solution for draining soggy ground over a large area. For example, if you have wet ground from rainwater on the side of your home, installing a French drain that directs that water away from your foundation and basement is a great option. Homeowners may also choose a French drain for areas like:

  • Alongside a driveway or paved surface to prevent heaving
  • Near structures like sheds or garages where water gathers
  • On hillsides or areas of higher elevation to direct runoff water away

French drains are designed to control groundwater over a wide area and dry out any soggy ground. They systematically move moisture from your yard and can protect your home and foundation from damaging water.

When is a Catch Basin the Best Choice?

Catch basins are designed to manage large volumes of runoff and surface water from yards. Consider installing a catch basin in low spots that flood when it rains. Attaching a catch basin to a corrugated pipe at low areas in your yard can resolve flooding issues. Other instances when using a catch basin is the best choice are:

  • Draining yards that experience a high volume of surface water from storms
  • Managing chronic low spots and flooding
  • Directing water from downspouts 

Catch basins are incredibly effective at managing large volumes of water and problem areas in yards. However, they’re not designed to control groundwater dispersed over a wide area.

About Yard Drainage Experts, French Drain Man

 French Drain Man is the expert on buried downspouts and everything yard drainage related. We’ve been installing the highest quality drainage solutions for over 35 years. No detail is too small when it comes to providing yard drainage solutions to homeowners. Using high quality purpose-built drainage parts on all our installs, French Drain Man ensures your system is built to last for generations!

For a yard drainage solution that lasts, call French Drain Man at 248-505-3065!