1. The best time to check on your drainage issues is to wait until it is pouring down rain and go outside with your umbrella to watch the water movement around the house and property.
Make sure to check out the water draining from the roof. Determine if all of the water is draining through the down spouts. Look for water running over the gutter like a giant waterfall.
Many times on large two story homes, the large roof area from the upper roof maybe draining down to a very short piece of gutters. This is a great place for a waterfall.
Are there low spots in the lawn where water is remaining for long periods of time? Make sure to look at the water drainage from the driveway. A large volume may need to be piped into the backyard corner or drainage ditch. In order to count this a problem a large catch basin may need to be installed at the back end of the driveway.
2. You must keep the water away from the house foundation so it will not cause a problem in the crawl space or basement.
Excess water entering the house may cause mildew and mold to form on the walls and floor.
3. Now the hard part is how to solve the problems! Make sure that the gutter can handle the water volume. If the answer is no, larger gutter may be needed or additional down spouts may need to be installed.
After the gutter issues has been taken care of, pipe out the down spouts by installing at least a 4 inch solid drain pipe to the street or the back corner of the backyard. If you are connecting more than one down spout to a drain pipe, a large pipe may be needed.
Low areas in the yard can sometimes be solved by adding topsoil to correct the problem.
4. French drains which include a drain pipe with slits in it and I prefer that the pipe has a mesh sock on the outside. Install this pipe with gravel around it in poor drained areas.
Remember, drainage pipe must be sloping down hill to drain. Check the slope of the pipe with a 4 ft. level all the way through before back fill with gravel.
5. Shrub planting areas may require French drains for proper plant growth. Ground covers and grass can help slow down the water flow across your property.
A retaining wall may be needed to prevent drainage from adjacent properties. After the wall is installed install gravel and a drain pipe to carry the water away to the street or stream.
Solving your drainage problems will cut down on your exterior maintenance problems for the future and provide a peace of mind.
Lawrence L. Hoyle, author, 48 years in the Landscape Profession. Check out his main websites at: http://www.web-landscape-design-ideas.com
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