Home drainage is the system by which water is drained away from the home. The most common types of systems are French drains, channel drains, downspouts, slope drains, and a drainage ditch. Regardless of how the water arrived, all drainage systems are meant to divert water so there are not leaks into the house, standing water that attracts pests, or erosion around the foundation.
A French drain is basically a ditch dug around the foundation's perimeter to let the water flow away from the structure. Many drains also contain perforated pipes that are buried under gravel or pebbles. The water drains through the surface gravel and seeps into the pipe's perforations before traveling out the end of the pipe into an area that can accommodate extra water.
A channel drain is a long, narrow ditch used to quickly move large amounts of water. Also called a trench drain, channel drains are typically constructed of concrete. In addition to draining water, they can also be used to hold buried utility lines and cables. Though not often used in rural areas, channel drains are seen in larger suburban areas where homes are built relatively close together.
Downspouts are a traditional type of home drainage system and work by diverting water from a home's foundation. As part of a gutter system, downspouts are attached at the bottom of the gutter and tilted at an angle so the water flows away. They are usually constructed of aluminum or vinyl and are also available in longer flexible pieces that can divert water several feet away.
Another type of system is a slope drain, which employs gravity to work. When a home is on a hill or has even a slight slope, the water can be directed away from the foundation using the principle of negative slope. This type of system typically involves a flexible hose of PVC or plastic laid into a tunnel. The tunnel is dug from the home's foundation to a more suitable spot such as a flower bed or drainage ditch where the water can be reused.
A drainage ditch is usually meant to drain excess water from lawns and yards. The ditch is dug along the street and water runs from the lawn into the ditch, then flows into the waste water system. This prevents standing water or erosion from ruining a home's landscaping.