Prevent Drainage Problems at Home

Drainage issues on a property can cost homeowners thousands of dollars in potential damage. They can also cause safety issues down the line, such as mold or mildew accumulation on walls, breeding grounds for insects, or even sink holes. It's important to ensure proper drainage occurs around a home.

Storm water runoff is a big culprit when it comes to drainage issues. Over time storm water can erode soft surfaces and redirect water to places where it doesn't belong. Also, improperly graded concrete work or misplaced landscaping items can create water pooling in undesireable areas. Other items used in a landscape can create trouble. Mulch or wood chip decorative accents can wash away during storms and clog drains or create water ruts.

Repairing drainage issues can be an easy or more labor-intensive job depending on the severity of water accumulation. Here are some remedies to try.

* Sweep driveways and walkways rather than using a hose to clean debris. This not only saves water, but also it prevents excess debris from funneling into storm drains or your own property drainage system.

* Install gutter covers and removable downspouts. This way you can routinely clean out debris that has collected, such as branches and leaves. Clogged gutters can cause rainwater to overflow and run down the foundation of a home, eventually infiltrating the interior.

* Always ask for referrals when considering outdoor contractors. Make sure proper zoning permits and inspections are followed so that grading of work is in accordance with city or town ordinances.

* Use caution when planting trees and shrubs. They could block the runoff of rainwater, or roots can compromise underground drainage pipes.

* Consider installation of foundation drains to divert storm water away from your building's foundation, if water seepage is a big problem. Foundation drainpipes are perforated and usually surrounded by gravel. The pipes disperse the water (instead of discharging in a concentrated area) and the gravel contributes to infiltration of the water.

* Trench drains or yard inlets can catch excess water if it pools or runs off in a particular area. The drain will connect into a public system and carry water off.

* Regularly maintain your septic system if you have one. Routine pumping of the tank, ensuring only septic-safe items are flushed, and avoiding harmful chemicals can help prevent a wet landscape from an overflowing septic system.

* Drywells can be placed in areas that cannot be connected to a storm water drainage system. Drywells are filled with gravel and surrounded by filter fabric. Water flows into the wells and permeates the ground through the gravel.

* Sump pumps can be used indoors to pump out extra water caused by a high water table. They click on when water reaches a certain level.

Being aware of drainage issues can prevent problems down the line. If you think you have a drainage issue, you may want to consult your city's public work department to view drainage plans in your area. A plumber or landscaper may be needed to help resolve issues.

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