Solutions for Drainage Problems
OAKLAND — When it comes to drainage, most homeowners don’t realize there are two different types of water that need to be addressed: surface water and subterranean water (also known as groundwater). Furthermore, these two types of water each require specific solutions to prevent subsequent problems.
Surface water solutions
For most properties, the primary source of surface water is rainwater that comes off the roof. While all homes have some form of gutter and downspout system, the downspouts on some older homes don’t properly divert water away from the structure; they just drain directly onto the ground. When this is the case, the water goes directly into the soil next to the home’s foundation, which can lead to foundation erosion and settlement over time.
To prevent this, make sure all of your downspouts are connected to piping that diverts rainwater away from your home’s structure. Ideally, all of your downspouts should terminate at least five feet away from your home. Another option is to install permanent underground drainage lines that carry rainwater to your yard or the street.
Groundwater is water that gets beneath your foundation and, if not addressed, can seep up into your crawl space and basement. A good solution for groundwater issues is what’s called a French drain—a gravel-filled trench with piping that redirects water away from the area. To be effective, French drains need to be dug below the lowest point of wherever your drainage problems are occurring.
By addressing both surface water and groundwater, you can develop a comprehensive drainage system that protects your home exterior and foundation from related problems.