Swales vs. French Drains: Which Option Is Right For My Home?

Swales vs. French Drains: Which Option Is Right For My Home?

swales kansas city

You might be wondering whether your home would be best suited for a swale or a French drain. Knowing the difference between the two and the respective pros and cons is essential knowledge that every homeowner should know. Distinguishing between swales and French drains is especially vital if your home is sitting on low land.

What are French Drains?

A French drain might sound fancy, but it’s actually quite practical and is named for the drainage system engineered by Henry French. French drains are designed to take water from around the house and divert it away from the home into lower land. These drainage systems help prevent erosion around your home, protecting the foundation.

First designed in the 1800s, French drains consist of trenches that run at a height of one inch per 8 feet, angling downhill to take excess water away from the immediate grounds around the house.

These drains typically run around the perimeter of the house, sending water downwards and off to a safe distance. They can be especially helpful in homes that have frequent flooding in the basement.

What Is a Swale?

A swale is another drainage system with a different design that can help keep water away from your home. Swales are essentially ditches that are covered with greenery to disguise its form. They are cute, clever, and effective when it comes to keeping water away from your foundation.

Swales are broad and yet shallow and are adorned with various types of aesthetically pleasing vegetation including turfgrass. They are highly effective in terms of controlling the rate that water seeps into the soil.

One could argue that a swale is a ditch of sorts, but that’s not entirely accurate. There is one major difference between a swale and a ditch. A ditch is designed to allow water to flow much faster whereas a swale slows the water down, absorbing it and passing it into the ground at a balanced pace.

Which One Is Right for You?

Deciding between a swale and a French drain can be a difficult decision. It’s always a good idea to call one of the experts at Olson Foundation Repair to ask for advice. Swales are preferable for some homes and French drains are better suited for others, it all depends on the home you have and the surrounding topography.

A professional contractor will know which drainage system would best serve your home by taking a look and making a simple assessment. Remember, you should never try installing a drainage system like a swale or a French drain by yourself. It takes a lot of technical knowledge, training, and practice to get it right.

Should You Install It Yourself?

There are some projects that are absolutely perfect for DIY. Installing a Swale or a French drain, is not one of them. Installing such a complex drainage system requires expertise and years of practice. It takes the kind of skill that can only be found in a qualified contractor like Olson Foundation Repair, one of the most trusted and accomplished foundation repair services in the Kansas City area.

Although it’s not the largest city, Kansas City is still a pretty big place. The foundation repair service that built a trusted reputation in such a big area is the service that you’ll want to work with. Here’s why you should work with Olson Foundation Repair.

Do it Right by Doing it with Olson Foundation Repair

Olson Foundation Repair knows what you need and how to get it done at a shockingly low price. Need a drainage system for your Kansas City home? Reach out to the experts at Olson Foundation Repair.

Give us a call and we’ll point you in the right direction, guaranteed!