Rainwater impacts your property and its surroundings. Due to the fact that you can’t control the weather, it’s important to keep the drainage in top shape.
When your drainage system is inadequate, all the pooling water can create significant damage in areas rich in clay soil. If too much water accumulates, you could even face a heightened risk of structural problems.
This is because clay soil expands, drifting the foundation. Too much water will turn the clay to mud, and then the house will sink.
As you can see, drainage is something you can’t take lightly. In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn about the typical drainage issues in the Greater Dallas and Fort Worth area. We’ll also go over some practical steps to help solve these problems.
#1: Grading gone wrong
Grades are prone to errors on the part of builders and landscapers. Ideally, lots should have a grade that allows the water to move away from the home. The rainwater has to enter a swale and end up in a drainage catch basin or the curb.
However, it doesn’t always happen like this. Improper grading traps the water or even directs it towards the house. The latter is the worst-case scenario. The wrong direction of flow travels to the concrete slab, resulting in soil swelling (known as heave) and ultimately, sinking.
SOLUTION: You need a drainage plan. Examples include:
a) Surface water collection leading to a PVC system to carry the water away.
b) Regrading to redirect the water flow.
c) Creating a subsurface drainage collection system, called a french drain.
A foundation repair company can help you solve these problems.
#2: Poor landscaping activities
A common misconception is that landscaping can’t cause drainage problems.
Paved surfaces can direct water toward your home. Bare soil without any vegetation may also drive water the wrong way. Even using too much topsoil can result in drainage issues.
SOLUTION: Use surface or French drains to shift the water flow away from your home.
#3: Soil conditions
Do you have a new home?
Sometimes the building process impacts the soil in extreme ways. Even installing a new swimming pool could affect the soil conditions. For example, pool installation is often accompanied by excavations. When the excavated soil is hardpan clay soil that’s laid out around the pool, you can expect long drying times, even up to a year.
SOLUTION: Make sure that your building or pool installation company knows about the dangers of drainage problems. Already affected soils need beneficial topsoil, French drains, and a good slope.
#4: Problematic downspout and gutter installation
You may need downspouts and gutters, but improper installation can result in serious issues.
Typical problems include overflowed gutters and the failure of leader pipes to direct the water away from your house. Runoff collection around your home threatens the foundational integrity and surrounding landscape.
Sometimes the problem isn’t with the installation but instead concerns the maintenance. Failure to regularly clean the gutters affects the drainage. The first blockage will keep getting bigger and harder to remove as time passes.
SOLUTION: Clean the gutters on a regular basis. Make sure all the downspouts direct the water away from your home. When the spouts are too close, connect them to an additional drainage system to help them take the water even farther away.
#5: Waterlogged soil
When your property has poor drainage, waterlogged soil may surround your home. Heavy saturation can turn the soil to mud and cause the foundation to sink.
Waterlogged soil often appears when the property has a long driveway, or the house comes with a big roof. These structures allow a large amount of water to soak the yard.
SOLUTION: Limit the runoff accumulation by installing a surface drain. Assure the ground slope is 2-3 inches over a span of 8 feet from the house.
#6: Runoff from higher elevations
Is your house built at the bottom of a hill?
If so, your home could experience runoff from other properties.
You can take some practical steps to combat this troublesome situation. Before doing anything else, you should check the water direction during heavy rains. This way, you’ll gain a better understanding of the water flow dynamics.
SOLUTION: Redirect the water to a dry well or catch basin. Change the direction of the runoff with the use of a berm or a swale. The latter is an especially cheap method of dealing with water retention.
#7: Water traps
Water traps usually stem from improper grading. When your yard has significant depressions, these areas can start accumulating water.
Is there grass or plants in the water traps?
Soon enough, the excess water will destroy any plant life. If you fail to address this problem in a quick manner, the area inside and around the water trap will create swampy conditions and the foundation will sink.
SOLUTION: Transform the landscape by creating creek beds. Creek beds come with aesthetic benefits. If this solution doesn’t work, you can always opt for drainage leading to a sump pump.
Conclusion: How do you resolve common drainage problems?
Drainage problems are all too common around many homes. Don’t take this matter lightly as accumulating rainwater can create significant damage.
Some issues have straightforward solutions. For example, improper grading calls for the creation of a better yard slope or pitch. Other problems need trial-and-error or creative approaches. Residing at the bottom of a hill or facing issues after pool installation may require extensive work. Perhaps the problem is caused by an uphill neighbor overwatering.
When in doubt, consult knowledgeable drainage experts. No problem is without a solution.