Drainage

Good Drainage Is the Foundation of a Great Landscape

Poor Drainage can Lead to Property Damage
What happens to all the rain that falls on your lawn, raised beds and around your house is a critical consideration as poor drainage can damage your home's foundation, kill your plants and turn a beautiful lawn into a muddy mess.
If your gardening space is overly saturated with water or excessive moisture is threatening the integrity of your house foundation, you need to improve your yard drainage

Site grading (slope adjusting) near your house's foundations can help correct drainage issues. Proper site grading is the first consideration. If properly graded and there is still excessive wetness, then French Drains can be used to resolve the problem.

Downspout with Poor Drainage Caused Property Erosion
Downspout with Poor Drainage Caused Property Erosion
Improperly Installed Drains Lead to Clogging
Improperly Installed Drains Lead to Clogging
Downspouts Attached to an Under ground PVC Drainage System Helps to Relieve Erosion Issues
Downspouts Attached to an Under ground PVC Drainage System Helps to Relieve Erosion Issues
Properly Graded Soil and Installed Drainage System Will Remove Water Safely to a Controlled Drainage Area
Properly Graded Soil and Installed Drainage System Will Remove Water Safely to a Controlled Drainage Area
(See Image Below)
Completed Drainage System with Landscaping Ends Here (Red Arrow) Allowing for Runoff Within Property Lines
Completed Drainage System with Landscaping Ends Here (Red Arrow) Allowing for Runoff Within Property Lines
Surface Water Slope and Drainage
Surface drainage is created by grading an area so that water collects and flows to a lower elevation away from the site.
Regardless of surface characteristics, when it comes to surface drainage, slope is the most important issue to consider. Getting the water to go where you wish is essential for improving yard drainage; the proper grade will facilitate your efforts.
Proper slope (grade) is required in landscape near foundations.

For Efficient Surface Water Drainage

A 2% slope is a slope that rises or falls 2' for each 100' of length.
  • Paved surfaces should have a minimum 1% slope.
  • Landscaped areas should have a minimum slope of 2%.
French Drains
French Drain Under Construction
French Drain Under Construction
A “French drain,” today is essentially a perforated drain pipe wrapped in landscape fabric and then covered with rock. The landscape fabric protects the pipe so that soil and roots can't get in. The traditional French drain is basically a trench filled with gravel. There has to be a downhill slope to allow drainage.

If you are experiencing problems with excessive moisture on your property and your neighbor’s land stands at a higher elevation than yours or if your land may be below street grade a drainage solution is needed.

Water from your neighbor’s property may be running down the slope and spilling onto your property or water may be running down your driveway into your garage.
In either case you need better drainage. One option in such cases is installing French drains.
French Drain Weep Holes in a New Masonry Wall
French Drain Weep Holes in a New Masonry Wall
This New Masonry Wall has French drains with weep holes pointed to by red arrows.
There are many considerations to installing a French Drain.
Yard drainage not done correctly may adversely impact someone else’s land. This could land you a lawsuit! City codes must also be checked before digging. Local utilities need to be checked with concerning the whereabouts of underground services.
Channel Drains
Channel Drain
Channel Drain
A channel drain is ideal for keeping patio or driveway runoff from flooding the nearby landscaping.
Channel Drain with Standard (Gray) Protective Grate
Channel Drain with Standard (Gray) Protective Grate
Channel Drain with Matching Color Protective Grate
Channel Drain with Matching Color Protective Grate
A channel Drain is installed to guide water away from the house and into a pipe, which is below the level of the pavers or masonry. A protective grate, can be colored matched to your pavers, along the top of the channel keeps out yard debris.
The channel drain is connected to another pipe, which leads water away from the house.
Area Drains & Area Grading
Water puddles that drain very slowly create a breeding ground for mosquitoes and promotes slipping. To solve this type of drainage problem, an area drain can be installed connected to a drainage pipe, which carries the water away through a series of underground pipes
Area Drainage Preperation
Area Drainage Preparation
When a wall is built, the drainage must be addressed especially if the land behind it slopes toward the wall.
Area Drainage System Completed
Area Drainage System Completed
The above area drainage system is using drains pointed to by red arrows.
Area Drains System Completed
Area Drainage System Completed
The above area drainage system is using drains pointed to by red arrows.

Areas that will be paved, such as driveways or parking lots, are easy to surface drain by simply grading them so they slope away from structures and toward a lawn, storm sewer or street gutter.

In open turf areas, you can create a swale (a lower tract of land) by making a downward-sloping "tuck" in the landscape where water will collect and flow to lower ground.
If water flows to an area where it cannot completely exit the site, a catch basin and pipe can be installed so the water will drain to its ultimate destination.
Downspout Drainage
A common mistake made by homeowners is installing a downspout along the side of the house so that it drains at the edge of the house

The job of a downspout is to drain water from the roof, but if you don't redirect it away from the house and into the ground, water funnels into the foundation, drowns out planters or soaks the lawn.

The proper way to install a downspout is to attach a 90-degree-angled section to the pipe, and to that a long pipe that leads away from the house.
However, the entire drainage situation needs to be considered.
Underground Drain System or Area Drain System
To better ensure that your entire yard drains properly and away from the foundation of your house, an underground drainage system can be installed, which includes lateral pipes that are trenched and connected around the yard.
Downsput Drainage
Downspout Drainage
Lateral pipes are also connected to channel drains, area drains and downspouts. The down line of the drainage system should extend as close to the street as possible.
  • Remarkable Elegance and Beauty
  • Good Long-Term Investment!
  • Enhanced Curb Appeal in Wet Weather
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