There are a few ways to tell that a residential property has poor drainage. If there’s standing water in the yard or, even worse, in the home’s basement after a storm, that’s an obvious red flag. Other landscaping issues such as soil erosion can also show drainage problems in the yard, as can interior problems such as flaking walls and foundation cracks.
Once homeowners have realized they have a drainage problem, they should call for professional help immediately. Chances are, they’ll need a new drainage system installed and if they’ve been watching the drainage problem progress without taking action for any period they’ll probably require foundation work. This article will address how contractors deal with drainage issues so that homeowners can see how important it is that they hire an experienced pro.
The most important element of proper drainage is ensuring that no water is able to make its way into the home’s basement, where it can cause foundation damage and create a perfect environment for mold to thrive. There are a few methods for installing a drainage system. Some require only interior renovations, while others require a combination of interior and exterior work. When in doubt, trust the opinion of an experienced contractor who has dealt with similar issues in the past.
Adjusting the Pitch
If the yard is pitched toward the house, water will pool next to its foundation and that’s never good. It may be necessary to adjust the pitch of the yard. This will require substantial landscape renovation, but if homeowners hire contractors during the offseason, they won’t have to worry as much about how it will affect their plants. It’s worth taking the time to make this major change now before the foundation becomes severely damaged.
A gutter’s downspouts take the water from its roof and route it away from the home. If they’re cracked, broken, or non-existent, it will leave all that water pooling next to the home’s foundation. Adjusting the building’s downspouts so they run off the property and into a sewer or dry well, or even routing the water far enough away that it can be left to seep into the ground without causing damage, may solve some drainage problems. This is a relatively inexpensive way to deal with drainage issues on a property.
Underground Drainage Pipes
In exceptionally wet areas, it may be necessary to install an underground drainage pipe. This solution will allow contractors to ensure that water isn’t pooling in low spots in their clients’ yards by draining it to another area where it won’t cause damage to the landscape or home.
Once they’ve hired contractors to deal with the drainage issues that may be affecting their homes, homeowners may want to consider some landscaping changes. Some build rain gardens, while others create man-made creeks. These aesthetic changes won’t be effective if homeowners don’t first perform the essential work of routing the water away from the home but they can make the yard look nicer and change the way homeowners think about their excess water.
The Bottom Line
Installing a new drainage system isn’t exactly easy, but with the help of a dedicated contractor, homeowners can protect their foundations and their exterior landscaping. The amount of money they should expect to spend will depend on whether they just need new downspouts or they need a whole new underground drainage system. The best way to find out what to expect is to get in touch with a waterproofing contractor who can offer insight into potential solutions and their associated costs.
Article Contributed by Tom Brett