Common Drainage Issues

There are several common drainage issues that may occur. Here is what they are and what we do to fix them.

Water in the Crawl Space:   Water in your crawl space may come from a few different areas such as around the exterior foundation walls and footers or from inside the crawl space. Water that comes in from the out side along the foundation can be from wet weather springs, Artisan springs or surface water.

Water in Basement:   Water in your basement can come from the basement walls, along the base of the footers and even from up out of the basement floors. This also could be coming from wet weather springs, Artisan springs or surface water.

Wet Land Areas Around the Property:   Wet land areas are usually caused by wet weather springs or Artisan springs. Occasionally they come from low areas that are holding water in low lying areas of your yard.

Gutters and Down Spouts or Lack Thereof:   When you have gutters and down spouts that are not running away from your house by way of downward slope or by pipe, it can cause water to stand around the foundation and get into your crawl space or basement. Also if you have no gutters at all, it can cause water to stand and get into your crawl space or basement as well.

Low Areas and Land Locked Areas:   Low areas as well as areas that are land locked can hold water and cause you problems in many different ways, make your ground sour, keep water against foundation walls, etc.

Trench Drains:   Trench drains are used in front of garages, along patios, in driveways, etc. They are usually installed to either slow down water or to help keep it out of designated areas.

Swales and Burms:   Swales and burms are installed to detour water and make it go in directions that we want, not directions that it wants.

Erosion of Ground and Hillsides:   Erosion is usually caused by large amounts of Water in one area in a short time, Water that is naturally channeled into paths of least resistance, Slopes with minimal Vegetation to help hold Soils, Drainage Ditches with minimal or no Vegetation and numerous other things.

Ways we Fix your Drainage Problems

To fix an exterior foundation problem, for a crawl space or a basement, requires a foundation drainage system known by most as a French drain. To install this system would require us to remove everything from around the outside foundation such as plants, patios, decks, etc. Then we have to clean off all foundation walls and seal them with a sealer, preferably a rubberized sealer and backing board, then install an N-12 ADS slotted pipe (4", 6" or 8") along with 1 " of limestone rock and 6 ounce filter fabric.

To complete the system we would hook up all the down spouts and an exit lines for foundation drains and any other catch basins that may be needed to carry them to daylight for proper disposal of the water. Another way to fix this, in case you can't remove things on the outside, would be to install an interior foundation system around the interior foundation walls with a " hole drilled into each web of each block that is setting on the footer. This system would be approximately 2'x 2' (wide and deep) with filter fabric, 1 " of limestone and 4" N-12 ADS slotted pipe.

To fix an interior drainage problem requires the minimum of a positive drain. This drain usually is installed at the lowest point of your crawl space and exited to daylight, with at least a 1% downward grade. This system could also require us to do one or more of the following to fix a problem such as this. Clean off all the interior footers and in some cases clean off from around the interior footers for the piers and lead them to a foundation footer and install an interior French drain system where the ground is extremely wet and moist and carry it to the positive drain on top of the footer or if necessary under the footer for disposal.

To fix a wet land area requires us to install another type of French drain system such as a curtain French drain, an open curtain French drain or an area French drain. The curtain French drain system is used to keep underground water from getting to a certain area by curtaining it off underground. This consists of us coming in and installing the system between the underground water and the area in which we don't want the water to get to and put at least 6" to 8" of dirt back over the system.

The only difference between the curtain and open curtain French drain is the open one has no dirt over the top of it, it has rock all the way to the top of the grade. Sometimes we use river rock for decoration.

The area French drain is used in areas that have lots of water standing out in the yard or wet lands. This requires us to install the system through the center of the area and install what we call fingers out into the wet areas off the main line and cover with dirt.

We use N-12 ADS solid pipe with water tight fittings on our gutter and down spout hook ups. It is very important that you up stage your pipe when installing all systems, in order to have proper volume without back up in the systems.

The most common way to fix low lying and land locked areas is to install catch basins. We install catch basins in low or land locked areas in sizes from 6" all the way up to 32", according to what is necessary to get the job done. If it is possible, I always try to incorporate at least 1 down spout in with the exit line of these systems because if not it is emptying out by gravity only. The down spout gives it a push and helps it to pick up speed and pull the water away quicker.

To install a trench drain may require us to cut out concrete or asphalt to install one of the drains and if you are using a trench drain that is 12" or bigger it is required that we use Concrete around it to keep it stationary.

We install swales around houses or between the house and a hillside, in order to detour the surface water away from the house. This will also require the use of burms in some cases. We will use the soils from the swale and sometimes it is required to bring in additional top soil or clay in some cases. After these swales and burms have been installed, we will install seed and erosion control matting or sod with yard staples.

All systems require an exit line, size to be determined, with at least a 1% downward grade with animal guards installed on the end of each exit line and the yards will need to be seeded and strawed or have sod applied.

In fixing Erosion and Hillside problems, we have to look at things from a different prospective.

When dealing with large amounts of Water in a short amount of time you have to find out where it is being channeled from and then see if it is possible to slow it down, break it up or divert it in pipe by way of catching it in Catch Basins and pipe it off, Swales and Burms.

When dealing with Water that is naturally channeled into paths of least resistance we have to also look at slowing it down, changing its path by way of Catch Basins or possibly with Open French Drains, Swales and Burms.

When dealing with Slopes that have a minimal or no Vegetation on them we need to possibly use Seed and Erosion Control Matting, plant Vegetation (such as Ground Cover or Native Grasses) and Mulch to help hold moisture for the plant materials.

When dealing with Drainage Ditches that have minimal or no Vegetation we can use Rip Rap rock, make it into a Dry Creek Bed with Native Stone, Sod it and use Lawn Staples, Seed with Erosion Control Matting or possibly Concrete.

These are just some of the different ways that we may have to look at fixing this type of problem, to make sure it is done right I would have to look at it and then come up with your best options. So if you have any of these problems or some that I may have not mentioned, please give me a call and I'll be happy to help you fix and solve them for you.


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