Many property owners are not concerned with yard drainage until these people have a problem. Water naturally follows the trail of least resistance to lower elevations and problems arise when original pathways constructed by the builder become blocked or were inadequate right from the start. Not having suitable slopes and drains on the property to direct or divert water runoff makes it possible for water to discover a path directly to areas where you'd least need it including foundations, under pavement, in your basement etc. Flooding basements and cracked foundations are fantastic wake-up calls to the issue but addressing problems beforehand will save you thousands of dollars, and headaches, in the future.
Both kinds of water supplying a lawn are surface and subsurface. Subsurface water means water underneath the first layer of topsoil which cannot permeate any lower due to the tightness of the soil beneath. Also known as water table, all soil has this layer of water with variations in depth depending on the area. Although a higher water table can be a problem in a few areas, in general, surface water is the cause of excess subsurface water as too much surface water penetrating the floor can raise the water table. Surface streams are rainfall and irrigation, for example sprinklers, and may be particularly troublesome in urbanized areas which contain numerous impervious surfaces.
Streets, driveways and parking lots simply leave nowhere for rainwater to visit. Just like a lawn, the runoff will either pool in depressions or flow to soil around the edges causing saturation in another area. When soil reaches 100% saturation, with little if any drainage to assistance with excess water removal, not only do pools of water collect, but the saturated soil takes a lot longer to dry up. This excess water retards plant growth by decreasing aeration inside the root zone and decreasing nutrient supplies. Additionally, excess water in the soil will increase freezing damage in the wintertime. Having proper drainage on your property prevents water from collecting around your building or home foundations, minimize soil erosion and protect your vegetation from death and disease.
Surface and subsurface would be the two types of drainage solutions and both are vital protections for buildings and lawns. Surface drainage refers back to the natural pathway taken through the water following rain or irrigation and is also achieved through gutters, downspouts, surface grates, exposed French drains and by shaping and grading your lawn to offer maximum surface water removal with minimum soil erosion. Subsurface drainage identifies pipes and drains put in the lawn which remove excess water that has gravitated underground, either through holes within the soil or simply just from soil saturation. Water travels through soil by capillary action, which can be much like a paper towel - when one side gets wet, moisture will slowly travel to the dry side before entire substance is saturated. After the soil is saturated, subsurface French drains are needed to remove excess water. By doing this, subsurface drainage keeps plants healthy, helps soil to warm earlier in the spring and instead gives off less water to freeze in winter, minimizing frost heaving harm to your house or building.
Problems related to improper drainage
Improper drainage can result in pools of collected water inside your lawn and/or around your house or building, both of which pose a threat. When collected near to your foundation, standing water could very well cause foundation cracks, foundation movement and flooded basements. When collected on your yard, pooling water gives mosquitoes a breeding ground and may leave your grass prone to disease.
Foundations: The costliest issue related to improper drainage can be your foundation. Soil naturally expands when it is wet and contracts when it is dry make sure all of the soil underneath the structure expands and contracts uniformly, i am not suggesting to cause an issue. Damage is completed, however, when only section of the soil heaves or settles. This differential movement is frequently because of differences in soil moisture. Improper drainage on one side from the building can leave wet soil that remains waterlogged for days or weeks (or perhaps in worst cases leaves constant water pooled around your foundation walls) while the other part of the structure has soil that dries quickly carrying out a rain.
The wet side has expanded, and stays so, as the other part contracts because it dries, and also this action pulls the walls with the structure away from each other. Repetition of this technique could eventually produce cracks in the foundations, walls and/or ceilings. Foundation repairs aren't usually protected by homeowner's insurance policies and will cost as much as $20,000 to $30,000 or even more to repair, not including cosmetic fixes to drywall, door jams, bricks, flooded carpets, flooring, etc. Anyone who has experienced a flooded basement or cracks because of heaving can attest to a costly fix! In addition, the drainage issues which caused the problem will still must be addressed.
Basements: The same issue connected with foundations relates to your basement, with all the added problem of letting water in your home with the cracks. Along with damaging carpets, flooring, drywall and furniture, the lake increases your basement's humidity creating the perfect environment for that development of bacteria and mold. Mold enters your property as tiny spores, which require moisture to cultivate and multiply. They could grow on almost any surface plus they digest and destroy your house as they do. When disturbed, mold spores are let go to the air and may be breathed in by you and your loved ones, aggravating asthma attacks and allergies. A small number of molds produce mycotoxins which could induce nausea, fatigue, headaches and lung and eye diseases each time a body's subjected to high levels. Furthermore, mites and spiders can proliferate in the moldy basement as mites feed on mold spores and spiders prey on mites.
Waterproofing your basement can help protect your property and is a great insurance policy, but your first line of defense against a wet basement is increasing the drainage in the lawn and all sorts of areas all around the home or building. Based on most engineers and home inspectors, 85 to 95% of wet basements and interiors of buildings can be created dry by improving exterior drainage around your home or building.
Mosquitoes: We all have been familiar with one of the greatest nuisances from the summer but do you know mosquitoes need lower than an ounce of water where you can lay their eggs? While standing water is normally the egg-laying site for mosquitoes, some species lay their eggs on damp soil and, in case your lawn has poor drainage, leaves your grass like a perfect home because of these pests. Needing only two to three days to hatch, your premises must be able to dry out quickly enough either to prevent females from seeing your yard like a prime location or to dry out eggs which have been laid.
With girls laying up to 300 eggs at a time, your yard can certainly become infested, driving you and your loved ones inside on warm summer nights. Along with the itching and aggravation of bites, mosquitoes bring diseases including West Nile Virus, Malaria, Dengue and encephalitis. All are potentially terminal. Your pets may also be in danger, as mosquitoes are the hosts for heartworm and may communicate this ailment to dogs, cats and other animals. Additionally, West Nile and encephalitis could be transmitted to horses. The American Mosquito Control Association instructs homeowners to not only eliminate standing water around your house or building, but to ensure proper drainage on your property to get rid of this potential hazard.
Turf Diseases: Since the first impression a visitor or customer has of your house or business, select doubt vital that you you to have well-maintained and alluring landscaping around your home. Death and disease of grass and plants isn't just ugly, it's a waste of money invested in addition to expensive for correct. Excess water on or even in your lawn prohibits the development of grass, plants and trees by robbing them of these air and nutrient supply and leaving them vunerable to attack by fungi, moss and mold. Fungi, the most frequent cause of lawn diseases, are microscopic organisms that spread by air- or water-borne spores. The spores behave like seeds, sprouting alive and infecting its environment when the weather is right.
Rhizoctonia Yellow Patch, Red Thread, and Pythium Blight are a few common fungi diseases which appear in moist environments caused by extreme soil and surface moisture. Many of the fungi diseases are hard to control when they appear and damage may remain for just two to four years following treatment. While fungicides can be applied to help prevent or control lawn diseases, several strains are resistance against fungicides. The very best prevention may be the lack of favorable conditions, including improving moisture conditions together with, and under, your turf.
Mushrooms likewise need extreme wet conditions to grow. While mushrooms don't harm grass, many of them are poisonous and may be a danger to children and pets that ingest them. Poisonous mushrooms don't have any features to differentiate them from nonpoisonous mushrooms and identification, therefore, is merely possible by those educated concerning the various genera and species.
Erosion: In addition to the issues related to standing water, water moving too quickly off your premises causes problems also. As raindrops fall in your yard, if you have sufficient intensity, the impact will dislodge small particles of soil which may then be carried off through the rain since it flows. This soil will either be carried on sewers or deposited in another part of your yard, based on your drainage conditions. Over time, original drainage measures, including ditches and trenches, can become full of soil, defeating their purpose and redirecting how water progresses your property. Erosion is accelerated where plant cover is sparse and spaces between plants become larger, leaving no protection for the soil during intense rains. Proper grades and slopes stop water from carrying away your soil by continuing to keep water runoff in an acceptable rate. Slowing water which is running off prematurely gives soil particles time for you to settle out from the water and back on the ground before being transported past an acceptable limit away. Additionally, healthy plant life with deep roots protects and holds on to your soil.
Benefits of proper drainage
Structural Protection: Using a comprehensive drainage system in position protects your structure by preventing water's damaging experience of concrete. Water that doesn't evaporate and isn't absorbed by soil eventually goes somewhere and, oftentimes, it sits under and around your foundations. Drainage solutions will keep the moisture content around your foundation stable and uniform, keeping contraction and expansion low. This maintains the integrity of foundations helping prevent cracks and water seepage.
Plants and Landscaping: Proper soil moisture is important for plants and lawns to establish a proper root system. Removing excess water in the soil deepens the main zone and boosts the air in that area. The improved aeration, subsequently, raises the availability of nutrients, many of which require air to transform chemically before they may be accessible to plants. The deep root system which grows will holds to the soil and prevent leakages from erosion. Additionally, water is not going to pool in aspects of your premises, leaving turf susceptible to disease, and assist you to keep up with the pleasing aesthetics in which you invested.
Recreational Areas: By implementing drainage solutions, areas, including parks, golf courses and athletic fields, improve traffic ability and increased technique property. Drains help nature drive out excess water and allow turf to quickly get over rain. Consequently the recreational area can be open longer amounts of time and for more intensive use, leading to increased revenue.
Spring showers aren't the sole reason for concern
The Midwest is notorious for extreme weather changes having a drought 12 months and floods the subsequent. While St. Louis posseses an average rainfall around 40 inches, in 2008 we had 50.72 inches pour upon us, with nearly 50 % of that amount coming between June and September. When you have weathered winter snow and spring rains, do not let down your guard thinking you are safe for an additional year. Summer can sometimes bring surprises and also the added deluge for your soil will only intensify existing problems requiring more extensive repairs.
A note about water tables
Water table refers back to the depth of which the soil always contains 100% water. In some areas water table is higher than the foot of the inspiration, requiring a complicated system of drains and sump pumps to attract water away from your structure. High water tables can result in devastating harm to your foundation or basement and is also sometimes cited by professional waterproofers because the cause of a problem because of the expensive measures to correct it. The National Association of Home Builders, however, estimates that only 5 percent of wet basements are caused by high water tables. If you have water damage and mold, you are most probably working with surface runoff problems which can be corrected through slopes, grades and drains in your yard, along with proper gutter systems. Modern building codes prevent contractors from building basements where water tables are high and if your house or building is lower than Thirty years old you may be reasonably sure a high water table is not your condition. If you have a wet basement, be aware of this problem! Inform yourself by contacting the local building inspector and getting details about your neighborhood water table.
Do you've got drainage problems?
Do this experiment: dig an opening one foot across and a couple feet deep and fill it completely with water within a dry spell. If the hole drains completely within just five minutes or perhaps in more than 15 minutes, you have a problem. A far more simple way to spot problems would be to review your lawn during and carrying out a rain. For those who have water flowing quickly over the yard removing topsoil within a rain or pools of water on driveways, parking lots or lawns following rain, then you've an issue. Other indicators include yellowing plants, yellowing or thin turf even though it receives a lot of sunlight and has no obvious disease, fungus or mold on the lawn, stagnate water smell and water seeping through door sills, basements and garages.
Types of drainage solutions
A thorough drainage system should include surface and subsurface drain solutions. Surface drains take away the considerable amounts water that fall in short durations and subsurface drains take away the excess water absorbed into the soil. The two systems work in conjunction to keep the moisture in your soil at the proper level for protection of the landscaping along with your home or building.
Gutters: Your first line of defense against foundation flooding is your gutters! Throughout a moderate rainfall, the average sized roof sheds 160 gallons of water runoff per hour. To stop the runoff from being deposited on the ground close to your foundation, a suitable gutter product is essential. Not only may be the correct gutter size for the roof area a consideration, but an insufficient quantity of downspouts matches having no gutter system whatsoever. Downspouts are needed to handle the volume of runoff your homes roof will collect and splash blocks has to be utilized to direct the runoff far from home or building and in the market to your drain system. The answer to splash blocks, however, is to install PVC piping towards the end from the downspouts to get rid of water 6-10 feet or more far from home or building. Furthermore, gutters should be properly maintained to stop clogs and gutter joints should be inspected for leaks. Creating a suitable, effective gutter system needs to be the starting point in your drainage solution.
Grades: To safeguard structures, the most crucial grades on your own property are the type within 10 feet of your foundation or basement. This can prevent the water you merely diverted away from the structure from soaking back from the soil toward your structure. Suitable grades vary according to who you consult but a safe measurement is a One inch (or even more) drop for each 1 foot out for that first 10 feet. This brings about a minimum of a 10 inch slope for that 10 feet closest to your foundation walls. Your yard should contain a continuous slope downward to help keep water getting off your foundation.
Surface Drains: Surface drainage can be explained as the controlled removal of water that collects around the land from rainfall, irrigation, snowmelt or hillside seeps. As gravity is the primary force driving this sort of system, it requires shaping the land having a continuous fall in your yard level to supply a downhill passage for surface runoff in an appropriate rate of flow. For grass drainage channels, or swales, the very least slope of 1% to 5% is desired. The contours of the land then direct the runoff with a suitable collection site, including ditches, basins or storm sewers. In the low point of the ditch or interception point, area drains are installed which can be connected to a primary or submain and prevents water from pooling in your yard. The underground pipes require a minimum slope of 1% or 1/8 inch per foot to help keep water moving through them. When the ditch is long, several smaller drains needs to be spaced in the series, as opposed to one large drain in the centre, to aid prevent erosion.
For driveways as well as other hardscapes, channel drains and exposed French drains are ideal. These linear trenches collect sheets water that run off, as concrete and asphalt absorb none of the water as it falls. Outdoors part of the channel/ exposed French drain is significantly greater than an area drain and it is more appropriate towards the greater volume of rain it will need to get. Additionally, channel drains allow designers to modestly slope hardscapes, rather than requiring numerous, extreme slopes to direct runoff to area drains.
Subsurface Drains: While the advantages of subsurface drainage are difficult to see since they occur inside soil, the real difference will probably be noticeable in your plants, grass and soil. Subsurface drainage will be the elimination of gravitational water from your soil, which is accomplished by placing French drains underground to gather and take away water with a drainage outlet. Subsurface drains usually do not remove water required for plants, only excess water, which flows for the drains by gravity. Sub-Surface French drains consist excavating a sizable trench and lining it having a filter or geotextile fabric, which will help prevent soil particles from entering the French drain. The trench will then be filled up with clean rock/gravel and a proper sized perforated PVC pipe for your application is put in the gravel.
When the trench is full of grave, it will be engrossed in a layer a permeable filter fabric, installing a combination of high quality topsoil/ sand and finally installing new sod on the top (assuming this French drain will probably be situated in a grassy area). French drains function when water inside the soil enters the gravel bed, flows to the perforated pipe and travels through connecting solid pipes with a discharge point. A general guideline for placing French drains is to apply Four-six inch perforated pipes, bury them 18 to 36 inches deep and space them Fifteen to twenty feet apart. In the trenches, pipes must maintain a .1% to some 1% slope. Soil construct, acreage and turf usage, however, may require variation from all of these guidelines along with a professional can help you determine the very best solution to your situation.
Discharge Outlets: Once water is collected in the pipes, it should be diverted to a suitable outlet to be sold. This outlet can be quite a street gutter, bad weather sewer or perhaps an onsite pond. Utilizing a pop-up drainage emitter, water can be diverted to some water-safe area in your property far from home or building. Pop-up drainage emitters are opened through the hydrostatic pressure of water flowing through the drain pipe, releasing water collected from gutters, downspouts, basins, grates, etc. If placed close to the street, the released water can flow over the curb and in to the street and never have to drill from the curb. The emitters then close as water flow diminishes, preventing debris and animals from entering no more the pipe and clogging the device. Home owner or maintenance personnel need to make sure they perform routine maintenance on the pop-up emitters. This can be done by removing the pop-up to ensure there's no debris washed down from your roof gutters or surface drains that may potentially slow down the water flow inside a heavy rainfall event.
Cleanout Connections: It is a good idea to set up cleanout connections on all drainage systems built-into your property. This really is commonly overlooked until pipes must be accessed by cameras or cleaning equipment years following your initial installation. Access points are essential for an additional 3 good reasons. 1) Routine maintenance, and especially if routine maintenance is neglected as the contractor will have to access the pipe to unclog them for a small charge of course. 2) When the systems functionality has declined. 3) If damage has occurred to the drainage system pipes from heavy equipment or excavation during an on-site construction project. Although cleanouts add cost to your project, it is strongly advised to have cleanouts placed on all downspout connections, all French drain systems and all sorts of long mainline pipe runs over 80' without drain grates that you can access.
Before contracting to possess you project installed, make certain cleanouts are incorporated into your drainage system. It has been calculated the cost to chop right into a pipe then patch it because there are no cleanouts will be a at least twice the fee as getting them set up in consumers. Sometimes it is 5-10 times the maximum amount of when access is required to an existing French drain without cleanout connections. So don't gamble because when you're installing a system with materials that last decades, you undoubtedly will require access; if for nothing else, routine maintenance. A professional drainage contractor will be able to enable you to determine the best cleanout points for the system their proposing for the property.
Finding & Hiring a qualified drainage contractor
Looking into it on potential drainage installers is important. You should be assured that your contractor is insured and contains the relevant skills required to properly install your systems. Be wary of "special deals" or even the "great deal from the friend of a friend" - these will in all probability run you more dollars and headaches over time.
Tools for Locating a Potential Drainage Contractor: The Better Business Bureau is a superb place to start in your search for any contractor. They maintain an internet directory for BBB-accredited businesses in your town. You can check not just just how long a contractor has been around business, but additionally any complaints filed about their operation. Angie's List is yet another useful gizmo for recommendations, as possible testimonials from actual customers. Even though you "hear of your guy from your friend," check their references online. See how many other people's experiences have been and select a pool of potential contractors from your best you will find.
Portfolio and References: After you have a listing of potential people for the job, ask to find out a portfolio of their previous jobs and whether you will see former worksites. When possible, see their handiwork in person, perhaps driving by a home or business during or after having a rain. This should help you not just to understand their drainage plans for the property, but in order to guarantee you they are able to indeed get the job done right. If you're able to speak with former customers, inquire if they were pleased with the job, whether or not the contractor stayed within budget and when the project was completed in a timely manner. You have to look for the most effective person for the position, not the cheapest bid. You need the situation to become fixed upon project completion; you do not need to be working with drainage problems or, in for the worst situation scenarios, legal problems, long after the contractor leaves.
Bids: Get at least two bids for the specific job and obtain them in writing. Furthermore, be sure you comprehend the difference between the bids. Higher bids don't always mean a contractor is wanting to obtain additional money into his pocket. Better materials, more skilled workmanship and reliability may be valued at a somewhat higher price. Take into account that, usually, you "get what you pay for."
Insurance: An important issue when getting a contractor is his insurance. In case your contractor will not carry general liability insurance or worker's compensation, the home owner can held accountable for just about any accidents which occur while work is being done. To guard yourself, ask for evidence of insurance. Reputable contractors will realize that you are doing the research and does not be offended. Be suspicious of the that try to convince you this can be unnecessary - they might have something to cover up.
Skills Needed: Make sure potential contractors have the skills required to do your work. Can be your contractor a drainage specialist or just a landscaper who may have dabbled in drainage installation? Can he start using a transit to analyze your slopes as needed? Does he be aware of proper depths and spacing for pipe placement in your yard? Most of all, is he diverting your excess water with a suitable outlet? Purposefully diverting water to a neighbor's yard, when runoff didn't already naturally flow compared to that yard, may result in huge fines. As the house owner, you will end up held responsible to your contractor's final result.
Equipment, Supervision & Project Site Management: Find out who'll supervise the job and the way often can they be onsite to find out how the plans are followed? Will the project continue daily until finished whole time other than weather delays? You must know who to call when you have a matter or problem. Furthermore, does your contractor have access to the equipment needed to find the job done?
Products: Which products does the contractor use and therefore are they the very best in the industry? Be skeptical of contractors offering a big discount simply because they will use materials remaining from your previous job. As you might be thinking about saving a few bucks, are you currently certain these materials are compatible with you project and requirements? Getting the project done with substandard materials that will not last never ends well for the property owner. You may have to offer the system torn up and reinstalled a couple of years later, costing you double in the future.
Warranty: Ensure there is certainly some sort of a warranty with your drainage system installation once it is complete. More to the point feel confident enough with all the company that they can be also in business to fulfill that warranty agreement. Find out if they can give you a past customer that you could call to speak to where they had a guarantee issue how the contractor successfully resolved for the kids. Many specialized drainage companies provide a the least a 12-month warranty of full functionality, some contractors offer more.
Warning: We recognize a family who hired a contractor a friend's neighbor had used. Although they met with him and thought he gave the look of a "good guy," they did no research on him or his business and references were not checked. After understanding that no real progress had been made in spite of the 1000s of dollars they had paid him, they started to investigate. Actually, the friend's neighbor had had similar complaints and was dissatisfied. When the homeowners had spoken to folks to whom the contractor had worked, as opposed to going by their impression of his personality, they'd happen to be spared a great slice of change. In addition to leaving their home a whole mess, they lost the money initially invested coupled with to pay for somebody else to finish the work. Furthermore, simply because they had not done their due diligence regarding the contract, they'd little legal recourse. The lesson: always err on the side of caution! Do not think that a contractor has your own interests at heart; look at their previous jobs and, if at all possible, consult people for whom they've worked. Most people are very happy to tell you about their experiences using a business, whether positive or negative, and businesses having a solid reputation are not cautious about you seeing their previous work.
Copyright © 2010 Team Green Outdoor Inc. All rights reserved
More Articles in Community Articles
Venerable Aardvark Jazz Orchestra Continues 44th Season November 5 at MIT
Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio - CUBA!
Karen Brundage-Johnson, PhD.
Luca Luciano’s new CD on Soundset Recordings
RareNoiseRecords Presents OBAKE with DRAUGR - The Third Album. The First To Hit The US!
12th Annual Hub City Jazz Festival
Karen Brundage-Johnson, PhD.
Renowned Organist and Recording Artist Tedde Gibson to Perform at Holy Trinity Church in Oxford, MD