French drains, drainage swales and underground PVC systems are all suitable to direct water away from a house, or to improve drainage in certain areas of the yard. Each of these tools can be used individually or in combination to direct water to the desired location.
French drain systems typically involve digging a trench along the foundation of a house or in a low-lying area that collects water. Homeowners then line this trench with landscape fabric and place perforated PVC pipe inside. Next, they should place crushed stone on all sides of the pipe and top it off with landscape fabric and plant grass above if desired. The PVC collects water and directs it to the area that the trench ends.