How To Direct Runoff Away From Home

Water is vital for our lives, but can also cause great damage. Even simple stormwater runoff can cause damage to your home, leaving you scrambling to find a solution. Learn why it is important to direct runoff away and the top tips to do so.

What Damage Can Poor Drainage Cause?

Your property may be damaged if it isn’t designed to drain properly, or if you don’t follow important tips to divert runoff away from your house.

  • Foundation erosion: Poor drainage allows water to pool around foundations, potentially leading to heaving. Dry soil close to the surface allows water quickly penetrate partially saturated soil deeper into the ground. The soil expands as more moisture is added, lifting steel columns above and distorting the wood framing. This can lead to cracked basement floors, ceilings, and sloping floors.
  • Foundation collapse: In some extreme cases, the foundation may completely collapse and possibly bring the rest of your house with it. Homes with basements are at greater risk.
  • Constant dampness in the home: Heaving can cause cracks in the foundation that allow moisture to seep through concrete. This can cause wall damage by increasing humidity. Plaster can crack, paint may peel, and timber might rot.
  • Basement flooding: Water could seep through cracks in the foundation and flood the basement if it is sufficiently damaged.

How to divert runoff away from your home

You want to avoid problems like these and ensure that your home is safe and sound. These tips will help you keep the foundation’s runoff at bay.

  • Install rain gutters Just one-half inch of water running off 1,000 feet of roof equals more than 310 Gallons of water. You don’t need a slanted roof to be effective. To collect the water from the roof and carry it away from your home, you will also need gutters. The downspouts should be at least 5ft long at the end, and should aim away from your house.
  • Clear the gutters. If gutters are blocked, water can run down the side and build up around the foundation. Make sure they are clean to ensure water flows properly through the downspout.
  • Make a barrier. The soil naturally erodes. However, water runoff can greatly accelerate the process. Rebuild the ground around your house every spring with 2 to 3-inches of topsoil, or crushed stone.
  • Digging a trench: A trench can help to move water away from your foundation if your yard is especially susceptible to flooding. A U-shaped trench should be 3-4 feet deep and 2-3 feet wide. Find the lowest point on your property and dig the trench. To allow groundwater to drain away, line the trench walls with fabric filters and then fill it with gravel.
  • Make a dry hole: A dry well also increases ground’s capacity to hold more water. Dig a well that is 3 to 4 feet in diameter and 5 to 6 to feet deep at your lowest point. It can be filled with gravel to prevent flooding and pooling near your foundation.

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