For centuries, builders relied on a mix of tried and true tools to keep buildings and foundations free from water and the damage it does to structures over time. Gravity and porous materials like gravel were the long standing winning combination.
And while gravity remains the undefeated champion in dealing with water – either causing problems or solving them without additional effort or resources – gravel is not always the ideal partner.
In some situations gravel is a poor substrate because the surface is being walked on or used for performing sports. In these cases the gravel underlayment is a poor choice because it can cause injuries or is simply uncomfortable. In other cases, even tightly packed gravel can shift, causing poorer performance and leading to the surface becoming damaged in a particular area over time.
This is where drain core can be useful.
Why is drain core better than gravel?
Drain core is typically made from a rigid plastic that holds its shape over time while providing a slightly more forgiving surface than concrete. This slight yield helps protect athletes while permitting continued drainage under even the most demanding situations.
The best drain core is gentle enough to permit regular use while being tough enough to keep an even flow of water away from the surface and out of the facility.
More importantly, drain core is easier to transport and install than gravel. All the builder needs to do is measure and cut, aligning sheets to make sure the surface is covered. Instead of dozens of trucks pouring gravel that later needs to be pressed or pounded into place, drain core can be laid into position and easily shifted until it is perfectly placed before being secured.
And, in addition to being easier to measure, cut, and install, drain core has been proven to provide superior water flow. That means a drier surface, easier installation, and less maintenance.
For your next project, consider where you might use drain core instead of gravel or even perforated pipe to keep water away from your foundation or off your field.
You will be glad you did.
Drain core close up