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27th January 2009
Homes that are built in areas that experience heavy rainfall should be protected against the water damage it can cause, especially if your home is built at the base of a slope. Installing a landscape drainage system will protect your property from flooding and waterproof the foundation of your home.
Landscaping Drainage and Yard Drainage Systems
The way you have landscaped your yard adds significant aesthetic beauty and value to your property, but this value can be damaged without landscape drainage. If your or your neighbor’s yard is sloped, chances are some of your landscaping and plants have been damaged or drowned by rain water that flows and accumulates on your property.
The most common and simple method of yard drainage is accomplished with the French drain. One of the many positive aspects of this drain is that it can be installed anywhere that there is dirt, allowing it to serve as a drain for several needs; not just yard drainage problems. It is however, one of the best landscape drains that you can install. By digging the trench at the base of a slope or around the problem area, the French drain will capture and redistribute any unwanted excess water. The trench is usually one to two feet deep, filled with gravel and, for more serious flooding problems, piping. Cover it with turf or a drain cover to make it less noticeable.
Foundation Drainage Systems
As rain water or melting snow accumulates outside your home, the water can come in contact with your foundation and damage it. A damaged foundation can cause severe problems later on, such as a sagging floor or floor rot. You can protect your foundation by installing the necessary drainage beneath and around your home.
The most expensive and perhaps the most efficient method of foundation drainage is done with a sump pump. Water that accumulates in the sump pit is pumped out and away from the foundation of the home by way of underground pipes. While the sump pit is often found in the basement of a home, a sump pump is mainly beneficial for foundation drainage.
The water that is pumped by a sump pump usually ends up in a municipal storm drain or dry well, but it is important to be knowledgeable about laws your county may enforce concerning excess water drainage. Some require that the water be cleaned with a filter before it enters any public drain. Another important aspect to keep in mind is that some counties that are at high risk for floods may require the installation of a sump pump in a new home. In this case, the county may offer to compensate for the cost of the pump and its installation.
With a PVC pipe drainage system, any water that builds up beneath your home can be drained out. A PVC pipe is simply a long ribbed plastic tube, usually about six inches in diameter that runs around the perimeter of your home. Buried several feet beneath the ground, the pipes are set at an angle and are covered with several materials: landscaping fabric, gravel, tarpaper, about four inches of straw, and backfilling.
Although they are technically not considered foundation drainage systems, extensions can be attached to roof drains to act as a substitute for a traditional foundation drainage system. When extensions are not added to roof drain gutters, the water that flows from the roof is dumped onto your lawn-this can lead to problems for your foundation since the roof drain pipes tend to distribute the water so close to your home. The added force at which the rain hits your foundation will surely cause foundation problems if the pipes do not extend beneath the ground. The pipes can be connected to the sump pump so that this excess water does not become a hazard.