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Solutions for Your Wet Yard

There's nothing like some melting snow and seasonal rains to point out drainage problems on your property. From muddy puddles in your yard that can kill your vegetation to standing water that makes hardscaping like paths and patios unusable, rainwater and snowmelt can cause significant problems. Over time, water can even seep into cracks in your home or building foundation or make retaining walls and other hardscaping elements unstable.

Luckily, French and Channel drains can provide ideal solutions to help move that water away, allowing it to drain in a specific path that protects your landscape and buildings.

Despite their common features – both French and Channel drains are used to divert excess water from a home or property and both have specific installation requirements to achieve a proper and effective slope – the two types of drains are generally used for different applications.

French drains

French drains are comprised of a trench that's filled with gravel or gravel substitute. Embedded within that gravel is a perforated pipe, typically made of plastic or PVC, that collects water and directs it away from your landscape and into a predetermined spot such as a drain. Many of today's products use a filter fabric to camouflage the gravel substrate and to keep it in place. In addition to draining excess water from yards, French drains are commonly used behind retaining walls to prevent the buildup of water and pressure.

Channel drains

Channel drains developed as a means of removing surface water that tends to lie on top of the surface. Unlike French drains, the surface of the perorated channel is even with the ground's surface. Channel drains are placed where water collects. Water drains into the channel and gravity moves it away from the area.


One of the most critical factors in placing either type of drain is making sure the proper slope is achieved. Running a slope that's not steep enough allows ground water to sit and become a stagnant pool where mosquitoes can breed. Slopes that are too steep can make placement of the outlet problematic. A smooth grade of 1%, or 1 inch of fall for every 100 feet, is the absolute minimum slope requirement for drainage.

Drainmats, Drainlines and PointDrain basins were designed to make designing and installing drains a much simpler process. Their lightweight and compact design makes them far more convenient than old-fashioned concrete channels. But that doesn't mean you don't need to carefully plan. In fact, while drain installation is something a homeowner might decide to tackle as a do-it-yourself project, getting guidance during the planning stage is critical to make sure the drain is properly located to avoid creating additional problems that require ripping out your work and starting from scratch.

At Legends Landscape Supply, we offer all the materials you need as well as the guidance and advice that can help make your drainage project go smoothly. And if you decide the DIY route isn't for you, we can also recommend a qualified contractor to handle the job for you. Give us a call today at 1-888-976-3790 or fill out our online form and we'll be in touch within a day.


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