Home Drainage Problems & Solutions

Heavy downpours, saturated soil combined with poor grading or overflowing gutters can causes drainage problems at your home. 

Ideally, your property should be able to handle a significant amount of rainfall and storm water without pudding or causing damage. Most yards can soak up a few days rainfall. However, at some point, saturated soils run out of storage capacity. 

At R&S Landscaping, we’ve found that many drainage problems around the foundation of your house can be corrected relatively easily and without disrupting your entire property. The most common cause of drainage problems are roof runoff from gutters and downspouts. If your downspouts have become disconnected and water is not being diverted far enough away from the foundation of your house, problems can arise. Downspouts must be able to move large volumes of water during rain storms at a proper distance away from homes and gardens. Connecting roof downspouts into a solid pipe and diverting underground away from your home can help keep flooding, erosion, and standing water at bay.

Some important drainage basics are that water always takes the easiest route, which is down hill.  Do you have low areas along the foundation?  Has the soil around the foundation settled or washed away over the years, so that the pitch is now towards the house?  The solution is adding soil to the beds, creating pitch away from the foundation.  There are however certain circumstances that may require the instillation of a drain or additional piping.  If there is nowhere for the water to run off then a dry well or seepage pit may need to be installed.  A seepage pit is a large tank that is set under the ground, allowing water to drain slowly into the sub soil.  Drainage problems can be easily corrected once they are properly identified. 

Drainage System Maintenance- If you have an existing landscape drainage system it requires    annual maintenance. Drain basins, normally a 24” box that is installed flush with the ground and has a top grate, collects water run off and is designed to allow sediment and fine particles settle in the bottom of the basin thus keeping pipes from clogging. It is normal to see water in the bottom of a drain basin.  After heavy rains your basin may become full of silt, soil, mulch or sludge.  This buildup needs to be removed on a semi-annual basis to keep your drainage system functioning properly.  The first step in maintaining your drainage system is to simply remove the basin grate or top and clean all the sludge and debris that has accumulated, and flush it clean with a garden hose. Then run water through the basin and check that the end of the pipe is not obstructed with debris and the water flows free before replacing the grate.  A simple test to see if your drainage system is functioning is to put the end of a hose in the inlet end of the pipe, this may be where the downspout is connected to the pipe.  Let the water flow for at least 20 minutes.  If the water backs up you know your pipe is clogged or damaged and in need of repair.  Cleaning and testing your drainage system annually will prevent costly repairs. If you have any questions or need your drainage system serviced please contact us.


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