Does your Dallas home have proper foundation drainage?
Any deficiency in your foundation drainage system raises the risk of having issues down the road. There are many scenarios that demonstrate excess stress on your home’s foundation.
For example, pooling of rainwater within eight feet of your foundation can be a serious problem. All this water turns clay soil to mud, creating, or aggravating foundation issues.
In this article, we will go over the main solutions for drainage problems. These methods can be included as part of a major foundation repair effort or a separate project.
Solution #1: French Drain Systems
A French drain is a trench that has round gravel and a pipe inside. The gravel and pipe are wrapped in a porous fabric, which minimizes silt build up. This trench is created with a minor slope to divert pooling water away from your home. The name comes from Henry French. He popularized this method back in 1859 in his book about farm drainage solutions.
This type of drain is a great option in the following situations:
- Surface water builds up easily. For example, your lawn gets soggy.
- You have built a retaining wall adjacent to the house with inadequate weep holes.
Did you know that there are different types of French drains?
A deep French drain, also knows as a footing drain, is the best choice for frequently flooded basements. The drain perimeters your house and removes the water before it enters your basement. Basements are rare in Dallas.
Shallow French drains work well to combat surface water in the DFW area. They are designed for concrete slab foundation. The placement is horizontal across your property. Any water is intercepted by preventing it from the problematic area.
Typically, a shallow French drain should be placed 2-3 feet away from the house perimeter beam. The base of the drain should be 6 inches below the perimeter beam. The drain slope should be a minimum of 1% or 1 inch to 100 inches. It may be terminated with a solid pipe to the curb.
Sometimes, the house is low relative to the curb. Then it will need a sump pump to raise the water to curb level. All French drains should be provisioned with a head-end inlet to facilitate washout of sediment with a garden hose.
Solution #2: Surface Drains
Surface drains differ from French drains in many aspects. Let’s take a closer look at surface drains to understand their best applications:
- Surface drains work great for the collection and diversion of large amounts of water in the quickest way possible. These drains collect water runoff and drive it away from your home.
- The installation takes much less time compared to an average French drain.
- Surface drains have a great flow rate. In most cases, surface drains may offer superior efficiency of water removal compared to French drains. Nonetheless, there are scenarios where French drains offer better performance. Consult with an expert before making a final decision.
- A surface drain may be used in conjunction with a French drain to increase water removal.
Solution #3: Proper Slope
An improper slope is likely to create foundation problems. The ground surrounding your home could be flat or even slope down toward your foundation. Both scenarios can end up in serious drainage issues. The ground should slope for a minimum of 8 feet away from a house.
Substandard land grading directs runoff water toward the foundation. Sooner or later, all of this unnecessary water starts to compromise your foundation’s integrity.
Solution #4: Gutter & Downspout Control
Some homeowners believe that a sump pump is enough to counter water damage. When you have ineffective gutters, you will still face the same foundation issues even with an installed sump pump.
One of the approaches is to install gutter guards. Using these will help you prevent clogs. Moreover, you won’t have to deal with overflowing drains and the consequent pooling of water.
Another fix focuses on extending your downspouts. For example, connecting downspouts to underground drainpipes combats water intrusion in your basement. There are many other solutions available. The best ones are simple and cost-effective, such as flexible downspout extensions.
In addition to repairs, you should inspect your gutters on a regular basis. When you see any debris and dirt accumulation, clean the gutter for optimal water flow. While inspecting the gutters, you might spot the need for correcting land slope as well.
When can you see the results?
On average, drainage solutions for foundation repair demand 6 to 12 months to impact a heaved foundation. You could get faster results by opting to lift your home to the heaved level. However, this is more expensive and less practical compared to drainage solutions.
While drainage solutions take time, these approaches offer a permanent fix for a particular issue.
Say, your property’s slope is improper. The piers may counter the resulting foundation trouble for the beginning. However, as the underlying reason is not fixed, it is only a matter of time when you will face the same problems again.
Drainage issues affect more than your foundation
There are more reasons for fixing drainage problems than just stabilizing your foundation. Here are the three major effects of improper drainage:
- Bugs and pests. All that water makes your yard damper. Many bugs and pests prefer this type of environment.
- Landscape damage. Some parts of your yard may flood periodically. This process can cause serious landscaping damages.
- Mold growth. Mold proliferation is a serious consequence of excess moisture levels. The growth of mold colonies poses significant health risks.
The bottom line: drainage solutions for foundation repair
The foundation is the most important part of your Greater Dallas or Fort Worth area home. All of the building rests on this structure. That is why it is crucial to fix foundation issues as soon as they surface.
Many foundation repair companies recommend concrete or steel pier solutions straight away. Although, there are cases where smart drainage solutions will do the same job, and even more.
In these cases, piers may offer a short-term solution when there is a drainage problem. Nevertheless, this approach will not provide a sustainable outcome. Improper drainage would continue to create further problems with your foundation.
If you’re searching for drainage solutions in the DFW area don’t hesitate to give us a call at 214-865-8609!