Drainage issues and how to fix them

Drainage around your home is one of the most abundant problems home owners experience when buying a new or pre-owned home. We do not have control over when it rains or how much it rains, but there are things you can do to lessen the impact that rainwater has on your property. Without proper drainage, water can collect on your yard creating structural issues to your home, damage to plants/gardens/trees, create an increase in bugs and insects due to ponding water, and also leave you with a huge muddy mess. Below are some methods that can be installed to prevent drainage issues at your home.

French Drain

This is a perforated pipe that is installed in a flat yard to drain water away from low areas and away from the property. It involves excavating a trench that slopes away from the property and the pipe is then installed with a drain grate where the water will collect and run down the subsurface piping to the street or other drainage area. French drains are a great way to divert surface water away from the structure, but they do require maintenance periodically to ensure the pipes do not get blocked.

Footing Drain

This is a highly effective water drainage system. A pipe is installed around the perimeter of the foundation walls on level with the footing. This pipe collects any water that would have leaked through the top of the footing into the basement and drains it away from the foundation walls. The drain is covered with gravel up to the soil’s surface. This is not as wide spread around Texas due to our lack of homes with actual basements.

Gutter Drainage System

Roof water can cause havoc if not well drained. A gutter and downspout system help drain all roof water away from the house/foundation walls to prevent erosion around the structure. The downspout drain should extend away from the walls and preferably direct the water to a storm sewer, catch basin, drains or the swale line around your home.

Grading Drainage

This is a simple technique that involves reworking the grading in order to slope away from your house. This is the way a home should drain without the need of any other drainage systems installed.  Proper grading is achieved by making sure the slope from the home to the swale (trench around home that diverts water to the street by gravity and proper slope) is meeting the correct criteria and directing all surface water to the street.  The final grade should slope away from the structure allowing for a drop of 6” within the first 10ft of the structure. Its common to have water standing in swales after a heavy rain, but the surface water should drain from the property within 24-48 hours.

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