You may have a drainage problem around your home if your basement is wet, the yard is flooded periodically, water ponds on your lawn for long periods after rain, or trees and other plants grow poorly. There are a variety of ways that drainage issues can be resolved depending on whether the problem is with surface water (rain) or subsurface water (from the water table). Typical solutions include:
- Surface Drainage: Properly installed and maintained gutters, downspouts, and drains are critical to ensure that roof water is conducted away from your home’s foundations. Every home should also have a grading and landscaping plan that provides control of all surface water runoff on the lot. Additions to the landscaping plan, maturity of shrubbery, soil erosion and similar changes tend to change drainage patterns and direction, so be sure to discuss this with your landscaping contractor.
- Subsurface Drainage: Subsurface drainage systems are generally constructed of perforated, corrugated plastic tubing. Called “trench drains” or “French drains,” these tubes drain excess water from the lawn and/or foundations into outlet ditches or storm sewers.
In some cases, a combination of surface and subsurface drainage systems will be needed in order to solve the problem. For example, installing downspouts to control roof water may be adequate to prevent ponding in low areas of your yard. Downspouts can then empty into a subsurface drain or into outlet spreaders installed to discharge water in a thin layer of a grassy area away from the house foundation.
Control of external water around and beneath a house is essential. Mildew, wood-destroying fungi and wet insulation will result when surface water floods or saturates the ground around and under a house. However, with advanced planning and expert advice, you can rest easy knowing your house will remain dry in the wettest weather!