Water is essential for life, but it can also be very destructive. Even simple storm water runoff can damage your home and leave you scrambling for a solution. Find out why directing runoff away from your home is so important and top tips for doing so.
What Damage Occurs from Poor Drainage?
If your home isn’t built to drain properly or you ignore important tips to direct runoff away from your home, your property could suffer in the following ways:
- Foundation erosion: Poor draining allows water to pool around the foundation, potentially causing a problem called heaving. This is when dry soil near the surface allows water to swiftly penetrate partially saturated soil deeper in the ground. This soil expands when additional moisture hits it, lifting steel columns and distorting the wood framing above. This causes sloping floors and ceilings and a cracked basement floor.
- Foundation collapse: In extreme cases, the foundation can completely collapse, possibly bringing the rest of the house with it. The risk is higher in homes with basements.
- Continuous dampness in the house: Cracks in the foundation resulting from heaving allow dampness to seep through the concrete. This increases humidity throughout the house, which can damage walls. Plaster could crumble, paint could peel and timber could rot.
- Basement flooding: If the foundation is damaged enough, water could pour in through cracks when it rains and flood the basement.
How to Direct Runoff Away from the Home
Obviously, you want to avoid these problems and keep your home’s structure safe and sound. Follow these tips to direct runoff away from the foundation:
- Install rain gutters: Without gutters, just one-half inch of water running off 1,000 square feet of roof amounts to more than 310 gallons of water. A slanted roof isn’t enough; you also need gutters to collect water from the eaves and downspouts to carry this water away from your home. Make sure the downspouts are at least 5 feet long at the end and aim away from the house.
- Clean the gutters: Clogged gutters allow water to run down the side of the house and accumulate around the foundation. Keep them clean so water is directed properly through the downspout.
- Create a barrier: Soil naturally erodes, but water runoff greatly speeds up the process. Every spring, rebuild the ground around your home with 2 to 3 inches of topsoil or crushed stone that slopes 2 to 3 feet away from your home.
- Dig a trench: If your yard is particularly prone to flooding, a trench can further help move water away from the foundation. Dig a U-shaped trench 3 to 4 feet deep and 2 to 3 feet across. Locate the trench at the lowest part of your property. Line the walls with a fabric filter and fill the trench with gravel to permit ground-level water to enter the trench and drain away.
- Build a dry well: Similarly, a dry well increases the ground’s ability to hold more water. Dig a round well 3 to 4 feet across and 5 to 6 feet deep at the lowest part of your property. Fill it with gravel so you don’t have to worry about flooding or pooling in your yard and near the foundation.
Recovering from Water Runoff Damage
If your home has already been damaged by rainwater runoff, all hope is not lost. You just need help from the restoration team at Rainbow International®. We can help you recover from disaster and put solutions in place to prevent it from happening again.