Updated: Feb 3

A recent study by the Concrete Foundation Association (CFA) reports that 85% of home structural damage is caused by poor water drainage. As a homeowner, it is important to employ preventive measures to avoid expenses from damage.

Your home is probably your most important investment. All efforts should be spent to maintain your investment in the best condition. Exterior drainage systems provide solutions to avoid costly property damage caused by surface water. The most motivating way to understand why it is necessary to invest in these types of water drainage systems is to learn of the type of damage that rain water is capable of effecting. Surface water causes pressure against foundation walls. The consequences include:

-Foundation cracks which compromise the integrity of the house.

-Foundation leaks leading to basement/crawlspace flooding and property damage.

-Health risks caused by mold growth.

-Loss of home value due to water damage.

-Damaged landscape.

During the next heavy rain, take a stroll with your umbrella around your property and observe the way the water flows. Is there standing water anywhere? Is there water collecting near your foundation? Look at your neighbors property - is water being diverted from their property to yours? Are your gutters directing water away from your foundation or are they clogged?

These systems below are options that a contractor can install to prevent water damages to your property and home if you notice during your check that rainwater is collecting around the home.

French Drain - This is a trench filled with gravel or rock or containing a perforated pipe that redirects surface water and groundwater away from an area. Standing water follows the easiest escape route meaning it will seep down to the tile and drain away from your yard.

Footing Drain - A pipe is installed around the perimeter of the foundation walls on level with the footing. This pipe collects any water that would have leaked through the top of the footing into the basement and drains it away from the foundation walls. The drain is covered with gravel up to the soil’s surface. These can be problematic as the drain is commonly connected to a storm sewer, which is limited in size. Once the storm sewer is full, where is the water going to go? These drains must be installed properly and maintained for clogs to ensure proper performance.

Gutter Drainage System - On average, a 2,000 square foot house sees 28,000 gallons/year of rainwater rushing over the edges of the roof. If not properly diverted, all that water will collect at the edges of your foundation. A gutter and downspout system help drain all roof water away from the house walls and foundation. The downspout drain should extend away from the walls and preferably direct the water to a storm sewer or catch basin.

Grading Drainage - This is a simple technique that involves reworking the grading in order to slope away from your house. A contractor will assess the gradient needed to drive water into the storm sewer within the building code.

Talk to your contractor today if you notice standing water in your yard. Your investment is worth the upkeep!

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