Concerned about water pooling in your yard or flowing into your garage or carport? Worried about moisture damage to your home’s foundation, or flooding in your basement? A trench drain can provide the cure. Trench drains are linear in-ground gutters, appropriately named because a trench is dug to create them. (Just for the record, trench drains are also sometimes called French drains, after Henry French of Massachusetts who the popularized the trench drain system in the 1800s.)

Water takes the path of least resistance, preferring to travel through gravel and open drain pipes, rather than forcing its way through the soil. A trench drain creates an easy subway trip for subsurface water, leading it away from your home.

Want more of the dirt on trench drains? Okay, here goes. Here’s the low-down: the subsurface secrets of how we do it at Groundhog Excavating. We place perforated drainage pipes in narrow trenches filled with gravel. We dig these trenches approximately 4-6 feet away from the foundation and extend them to the lowest part of your yard.

In many cases, we build the trench drain system in a “u” shape around your house. The pipe’s perforations point down. If we point them up, they get clogged by pieces of gravel. Shouldn’t the holes point up to catch the drainage water? That’s a question people often ask us. Our answer? No. Holes on top would capture just a small portion of the drainage. Gravity draws H2O to the lowest point in the gravel. That is, underneath your pipe. With the holes on the bottom, they are closer to the lowest point and will catch more water.

You may need a series of connected trenches, especially if your yard is nearly level. Once we complete the trench, we compact the loose soil in the bottom. Usually, we place sod over the gravel to give your water subway system a subtle disguise. However, if you need to control surface water too, we can extend gravel all the way to the surface and widen it into a walkway with coloured stones for cosmetic effect.

Tempted to do drainage installation yourself? In case you need a reminder, water can cause serious damage to your home and property. So can improper installation of trench drains. What’s the best way to ensure proper trench drain installation on your property? Hire professional and experienced drainage and excavation experts. Groundhog Excavating and Drainage has the knowledge and equipment to assess your drainage problems and ensure proper installation.

Not only can improper installation lead to severe damage to your home’s foundation over time, but there are also immediate dangers the minute you start to dig. Gas lines, underground power lines, and other utility lines may be nearby.

Trench drain installation may also require full or partial removal of sidewalks, decks, porches, and other structures, sod, trees, and shrubs. These are all things that call for professional trench drain advice and installation. Hiring a well-equipped professional trench drain installer is not only safer, but it also eliminates the trouble of hiring third parties.

All drain trenches are not the same. At Groundhog Excavating, we’d be happy to recommend the best solution for property and within your budget. Give us a call at 778-233-7499 and/or message us here.

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