Residential drainage solutions are a big part of the service we provide. We’re more than just diggers. Drainage is, after all, part of our business’ name: Groundhog Excavating and Drainage. In this blog, we’d like to share five common problems that might be at the root of your current residential drainage dilemma. Knowing about these common trouble areas may help you to prevent future, costly drainage issues at your house.
1. Drainage tiles
Drain tile, commonly known as weeping tile, is the main component of your home’s drainage system. Drain tiles are run-off pipes with holes surrounded with gravel. They’re designed to move water away from your home’s foundation to drier areas of your yard. If there’s a problem with your drain tile such as a clog or a break, water can begin to pool and seep into your home’s foundation. Another issue with drain tile is that it may be “smothered” by too much hard-packed soil and not enough loose gravel to allow for smooth drainage.
2. Poor slope (grading)
It’s always best to have proper drainage right from the start. That is, when your home is built. But if the builder or developer didn’t do a proper job of grading, you’ll have problems. They may not show up right way, but perhaps 5, 10, or more years down the soggy road. The whole idea behind grading is to move water away from the foundation of your home.
Improper slope in your yard can create depressions that hold water. This excess water ultimately kills lawns and plants. We have a lot of residential clients who have experienced some unexpected marshes in their yards because of poor grading. But it gets worse.
Improper slope/grading not only cause foundation leaks. It can spell disaster to a home’s interior finishes, to drywall and wood floors. Poor grading can also contribute to complete foundation failure.
These issues can be easily avoided during construction of the house by grading proper slope away from the home. (We’ve described these unhappy results, and the solutions to them in our blog Where There’s Slope, There’s Hope.).
Get out your site level and keep water drainage away from your house. Sadly, many of our residential clients have failed to do this. Preventative maintenance goes a long way to keeping your home and foundation dry. At about out 60 centimetres (24 inches) away from the house, the ground should fall or slope away by at least 20 centimetres (8 inches).
There are a number of options for tackling improper slope. One is to install creek beds that allow stormwater to be moved on the surface. They may even bring some aesthetic value to your yard. In extreme cases, sump pumps offer a solution to this too-common residential drainage problem. Talk to a drainage expert (like us!) about the best solution(s) for your home.
3. Plant bed designs
One of the joys of designing a plant bed is deciding what kinds of flowers you want to plant. But before you visit the greenhouse, consider what’s underneath the surface. Don’t stop at our plants’ roots. Keep digging deeper. The real roots of residential drainage issues often lie in flower beds.
Improper bed designs impede the water from moving away from your home. If it doesn’t immediately threaten your home’s foundation, it could at the least cause the water to pool in the beds, killing your plants. Again, where there’s slope, there’s hope.
4. Driveways and sidewalks and other paved surfaces
Many of our residential clients have experienced problems because of improper slope from driveways, sidewalks, pool decks, and other hardened surfaces. Paved areas with poor grading simply allow the water to move even faster toward your home’s foundation. This isn’t the kind of waterslide you want in your yard!
Another common residential drainage issue arises because of faulty gutter downspouts. Here’s an important question to ask: where’s the water coming from and where’s it going? If too much roof area drains through a single downspout, or through two downspouts placed very close together, water can pool near your home. Water from gutters and downspouts need a smooth, clear way to exit as far away from your home’s foundation as possible.
The above list isn’t an exhaustive one, but it does highlight the most common residential drainage problems. We’ll help you get to the root of your home’s drainage issues. At Groundhog Excavating, we have the experience and expertise to analyze your drainage problem areas. We’ll discuss your options with you, and then get to work to solve the problem. For a free analysis and estimate, phone us at 778-233-7499. You can also message us online.