5 Top Benefits of Trench Drains For Commercial Real Estate


As a commercial building, it’s vital that you have the right drain systems in place in order to keep the area clean, dry, and free of hazards. Without the proper drainage system, you run the risk of employees slipping and falling due to stagnant or pooled water in the work zone.

No matter what industry you work in, trench drains are an essential part of commercial real estate. Breweries and warehouses use them in parking lots, offices use them in parking lots, and all commercial buildings use them to improve worker and guest safety. When installed, trench drains come with a lot of benefits.

What Are Trench Drains?

Trench drains are a type of surface drain installed to direct pooled water away from an area. They are shallow drains and often use a sloped channel to send water into a cistern or the city’s sewage system.

These elongated drains can run throughout an entire warehouse or parking lot and are strong enough to withstand the weight of cars and machinery. They are often used on highways in order to prevent water from pooling on the roadway and making vehicles hydroplane, so you can rest assured that there are strong enough trench drains for your commercial building.

Types of Trench Drains

There are two main styles that trench drains can be found in: pre-cast and cast in place. Both use concrete, but after that, they are very different. Choosing the right trench drain is important, but first you’ll need to know what your options are.

Pre-Cast Trench Drains

Pre-cast trench drains are made in a factory using predetermined measurements. By pre-making the drains, the drains are allowed to dry in ideal conditions and take all the time they need to, creating a strong drain in the long run. However, pre-cast trench drains can be difficult to get to the installation site and will require special machinery in order to be installed.

Cast in Place Trench Drains

Cast in place drains are built on the commercial site. The trench for the drain is dug exactly how you want it and where you want it with minimal limitations. Concrete is poured to form the drain and once it is fully dry, supports are removed and you’re left with a perfectly customized drain.

Cast in place drains require a lot of work as everything is done on site, but they don’t require additional parts like hinges to be flexible and you won’t have to pay for transportation of the drains. Letting the concrete cure can also be very variable as the weather may not be ideal.

Benefits of Trench Drains

#1. Reduce the Risk of Flooding

Whether you install the drain in your warehouse, parking lot, or factory, trench drains will greatly reduce the risk of flooding. Trench drains create a place for water to go and reduce the chances of it flooding and becoming a hazard anywhere in your business.

With an estimated $13.5 billion in damage for businesses 2022, it’s clear that flooding is a major concern and hazard. If your property handles a lot of water day in and day out, then the odds of it flooding can be even higher. While installing a trench drain will not fully prevent flooding, it can greatly reduce the damage and risk of it.

#2. Prevent Erosion

Most commercial real estate properties have a parking lot and over time, this parking lot is going to see a lot of rain. As asphalt and cement do not allow water to seep into the ground, they can quickly become flooded or eroded as rain water streams downhill. Installing trench drains can prevent erosion by giving water a place to go and not allow it to seep through and damage your parking lot.

If you have a gravel parking lot, having a trench drain is even more important as it will prevent soil erosion and keep your parking space neat and smooth.

#3. Reduce Slipping Hazards

When the ground, floor, or parking lot is covered in water, the chances of someone slipping and falling increase. The surface may be slippery and if someone isn’t paying attention, they’ll likely end up on the ground.

Trench drains won’t keep your floors dry, but they will prevent water from pooling and increasing the slip hazard. They provide a place for the water to go so while the ground may still be slippery, there isn’t the risk that puddles of water will further cause issues. In warehouses and factories were heavy machinery is operated, having a puddle-free space is equally important.

#4. Prevent Foundation Damage

If your commercial property is located on a negative slope, then water will flow toward your property rather than away. While some negative slopes can be fixed by grading, steep slopes may not be fixable.

Installing a trench drain on the slope or a few feet away from the foundation of your property can prevent water runoff from causing water damage in your foundation. The cost of installing a trench drain will be significantly lower than the costs of reversing water damage, but it also ensures that the building structure is safe and strong for years to come.

#5. Control Where Water Goes

If your company handles chemicals, having the ability to control where excess water goes is important. You don’t want to accidentally contaminate the groundwater or harm the environment. With the installation of a trench drain, you can control exactly where your water runoff empties and know that you aren’t allowing chemicals to spill into the local water supply.

Even if you don’t handle chemicals that often, there is always the risk that they could get into the water. Preparing in advance for this possibility will increase your control over the situation and protect your business if anything does get out of hand.

A Cost Effective Solution

Trench drains are a cost effective solution that combat a variety of issues. They can be custom made for your property (cast in place drains) or ordered from a factory (pre-case), so it comes down to what is better for your business and what you can afford. No matter the decision, a trench drain will provide a cost effective solution to many water-caused issues.