The Importance of Proper Drainage

puddlePoor drainage around your home can lead to mold, mildew and musty smells in your basement.  If you notice a strong musty odor in your basement particularly after a rain shower, then the issue could stem from moisture build-up inside the basement.  Proper drainage around the outside of your home is critical.    If you notice water ponding by your home don’t ignore this problem.  It could lead to bigger issues like foundation cracking and water in your basement.

Rain gutters are an important part of the drainage system around your house. If your gutters are leaking and in poor repair, or if the downspout empties right beside your house, this is a problem.

Gutters need to be installed properly so they will catch the water coming off of your roof and channel it at least four feet away from your home. To ensure your gutters are working as they should, you may need to just wait for the next rain storm, go outside and take a look.  If the rain is overshooting the gutter as it leaves the roof, then your gutters are not doing their job.   Gutters should have a downward slope towards the downspout to ensure they drain completely.

At ground level, the water from your downspout should be directed at least 4 feet away from your house. It’s best to have the water flowing through a tipout on the ground, or onto a splashguard designed to drain the water away from your home.

Once the water is on the ground, it’s important that it doesn’t just sit there. This is where the grading of your property is important. You will want to have some sloping in your yard that will move water away from your house.

If you have a problem with water constantly accumulating in a particular area, you might consider installing a French drain. A French drain is a small trench with a perforated pipe surrounded by sand or gravel that directs the water flow away from the foundation following the grade. Not only will it get the water away from the house, it will do it without any possibility of water runoff damage or erosion.  A clogged French drain can be a very tough situation.  So if you have French drains it is very important to have a filter to catch debris before it clogs the underground drain.

The goal of your home’s exterior drainage system is to simply move water away from your home.  During the next rain storm pay attention to all the parts in this system.  If you discover any problems, getting them fixed immediately is critical.



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