Common Drainage Problems and How to Fix Them
With recent snow melting and spring rains in the forecast, saturated ground and frequent rain storms will reveal areas where drainage problems exist.
Rain is great for the landscape when it comes from regular, moderate showers but when wet weather and heavy storms bring more water than the soil can absorb, it can cause damaging and messy drainage problems. While every property is unique, there are five common drainage problems that can often be addressed with landscaping:
- Wet Basement – Besides the risk of damaging items in storage, damp conditions can harbor unhealthy mold and mildew
- Flooded/Icy Walkways and Driveways – Overflow can create a mess but becomes downright dangerous in winter
- Erosion – Rushing water can damage lawn and beds areas
- Puddling – Anything that stays soggy beyond 24 hours can cause damage to lawn and plants
- Impervious Surface – Existing paved areas may simply be poorly pitched but new ones often require township approval
It is important to address poor drainage before it can cause damage. Water damage is the second most frequently filed insurance claim with the average cost of a claim being $5,000. Fortunately, there are many cost-effective drainage solutions available for these most common problems.
- Extend Downspouts
Too often, builders do not extend downspouts under walkways or run them away from foundations. This can lead to a number of problems including flooded/icy pavement, erosion and wet basements. Simply extending such downspouts using additional pipe can go a long way to relieving these issues.
A number of things cause low areas in a yard: settlement, construction, vehicle damage or rotting tree roots. Sunken areas may simply require the addition of topsoil, but larger areas could require more extensive grading including the creation of swales to help direct water away from living areas and to a safe place for infiltration or collection. If your hardscape surfaces are improperly pitched—directing water to the residence instead of away—or settled, they will likely need to be lifted and re-laid or replaced.
- Drain Pipe/Trenches
Pipes can be used to quickly and efficiently address a number of drainage issues, including wet basements, flooded pavement and puddling. Water collected by downspouts, catch basins or stone trenches can be taken, underground, to a desired area including, a retention basin, swale or municipal sewer system for collection and removal. In order for these methods to work they require an appropriate amount of pitch and a destination lower than the source.
- Rain Gardens, Dry Stream Beds and Stabilization
Some minor drainage problems can be handled naturally with attractive garden solutions. Rain gardens consist of water-tolerant plants, often natives, in a shallow depression where excess water collects for their use. Dry stream-beds use river rock and boulders with similar plant selections to create an attractive but stable course for overflowing water to run through without causing erosion to more fragile beds and lawn areas. Planting ground cover can also help to stabilize a hillside or bare area to protect it from erosion.
- Storm Water Management
Retention basins, seepage pits, infiltration trenches, level spreaders and cobble pits are often required by a township to make up for impervious surfaces installed during new construction—often of a patio or pool which exceeds recommended limits. Designed and approved by an engineer, these measures allow a developed property to absorb more rainfall.
Have you discovered drainage issues on your property? Professional Landscape Services can analyze the source of your drainage problems and implement an appropriate solution. Call today and schedule your free consultation.