Homeowners should understand that water can be their worst enemy and ruin or destroy a home. A leak can cause pipes to rust and burst, pools of water to collect and ceilings to chip. Water can seep into wood flooring and carpet or even behind wall, leading to potential mold growth. However water can also wreak havoc on the exterior of a home too. When water collects outside of a property, it is because of drainage issues. It is important that all drainage systems are properly maintained regularly. While this is generally overlooked, if something does go wrong, the damages can be devastating.
Drainage typically means controlling falling water to move it away from the home and preventing ponding that can affect landscaping. This means storm drainage, rain water, surface water, etc. Drainage issues usually occur because of ponding or standing water that doesn’t go away and forms puddles around the property. Other drainage issues can be a result of marshy soil. A lot of areas won’t dry up and make it difficult to drain properly. If the pitch on the drainage wasn’t done right, the water will just sit and saturate the ground continuously leading to basement leaks.
Surface drainage issues occur when standing water has stayed in place for more than 48 hours. In order to minimize this issue, repair the irrigation system. If this is well-maintained and properly programmed, drainage issues can be reduced dramatically. This annual check is important for homeowners and can save them money in the long run. Ultimately drainage issues may not be something you think about regularly, but it’s important when maintaining a home and protecting it from the elements.
Things to Know About Surface Drainage
In terms of surface drainage, slope is the most important thing to consider. For efficient drainage to occur, paved surfaces should have at least 1% slope. Any landscaped or turf areas should have at least 2% slope. Because slope is so important, a level is good to have on hand to measure it. Slopes of 4-5% will seem steep in most landscape situations and can cause erosion, so be sure that your slope isn’t too high too as that isn’t functional either.
Calculating slope isn’t difficult as each foot of elevation over a 100-foot length is 1%. This means that it takes 2 feet of change over 100 feet to create a 2% slope. Ultimately paved surfaces such as parking lots and/or driveways are the easiest to surface drain.
Top Costly Home Drainage Mistakes
According to a recent study, nearly 85% of all home repair expenses in the country come from water damage. This is because of uncontrollable runoff and bad landscape irrigation systems. Foundation and structure is at a great risk of damage when this occurs. However with proper drainage systems and regular maintenance this can be prevented.
Uncontrolled water can cause deterioration of building materials, damage to structure, mold growth, erosion, infestation of bugs and rodents and downspout or gutter issues. One solution is to redirect water floor from the gutters and ground, which will keep the rain or storm water away from the home itself. Inspect your downspout and gutter system regularly to see how it discharges the runoff around the foundation. When you neglect this, problems such as cracking of the foundation and swelling of soil can occur. Also clogged gutters can send water down into a home. Use drain systems, extensions and splash blocks to keep water flowing away from the home.
If this should occur, wood floor damage can be costly if not done costly (see our article about this topic here).
Ultimately drainage problems typically are caused by the slope and the improper level not being able to move water away from the area. A home’s irrigation system can contribute to a water drainage problem because of soil types, how the irrigation system is programmed and if it’s not nozzled properly. When this occurs, some areas around the home will get more water than it needs leading to ponding and pooling water.
Solutions for Homeowners
Irrigation timing is a valuable solution as it turns a zone on and looks at the water coming out of each head. By closely inspecting the system as a whole, you can ensure its proper functioning and protect your home.
Also cycle the water schedule so that it switches from zone to zone and allow water to soak properly.
Ultimately solving drainage problems is not difficult if you understand why the issue is occurring. Redirect all of this excess water to a lower area through a catch basin, dry well or a drainage ditch. A home inspector can inspect the exterior of your home and make helpful suggestions and/or changes to protect your home’s structure leading to less of a chance of costly repairs in the future. An annual home inspection is imperative for maintenance all around a home.