Common Drainage Problems And Solutions

According to the people at Pioneer Basement Solutions there are only three places you can get basement water leaks in your home:

  • Basement walls
  • Basement floorstock-photo-6454290-derelict-basement
  • The seam where the floor meets the walls

One of the common problems in Northeast Ohio right now is the abundance of melting snow.  That means that if you do not have good drainage around your home and water is sitting – in puddles maybe- around your foundation and you have an older home, there is a good chance you will be seeing some water seepage in your basement. A good drainage can save you headaches, keep your basement dry and free of mold.

Read more about common drainage problems and some solutions for you by following the links below.

Common Drainage Problems That Cause Basement Leaks

Poor drainage can cause a myriad of problem with your home. These can include structural damage to the foundation, insect infestations and mould. All of these are expensive to correct, but often the causes of poor drainage can be remedied easily. Here are some common drainage problems that could be the culprit of your basement leaking:

1. Poor Grading on the Property

Perhaps the most common drainage problem is poor grading on the property. Water flows downhill and if your home is at the bottom of an incline, water will move to the lower elevation. If you have slopes, it is essential that the runoff is directed to a drainage system, such as a pipe or a ditch. Slopes must be strong enough to withstand excess water or soil will erode. You may even end up having landslides if the topsoil is lifted by the excess water.

In some cases, the contractor may follow the requirements laid out in the local code regarding the slope required on the lot, but the soil has high clay content. The clay content causes the soil to resist absorbing moisture, and low areas hold standing water more readily.

Landscaping project solves drainage problem…

We’ve lived for 10-1/2 years with a terrible drainage problem on our front sidewalk.  When we get a good rain, a lake forms in front of the front door, making it impossible to come into the house without wearing galoshes or looking for a ferry.  (Well, that might be an exaggeration.)  If you look carefully, the edge of the stained concrete porch stops and you can see a tiny sliver of the sidewalk on this side of the puddle before you step up to the porch.

This is only a moderately-sized lake.  When we get gully washers it’s much bigger.
I try not to think about the builder and the contractor who thought it was ok to build a sloping sidewalk that comes down the hill, and then goes back up with the next piece of concrete, making a V in which water will always puddle.  They did the same thing in front of our garage doors as well, making a 3-car trench over which we also have to leap when it rains.

But I digress.

So, in addition to addressing our sprinkler/rain drainage and erosion problems in the beds that line the sloping sidewalk, we are fixing the entire sidewalk.

Solutions for Homesite Drainage

Where land is flat, soils are dense or the water table is high, a well designed drainage system is a priority. Without proper drainage solutions in place, water may collect to undermine structures and drown expensive plants, turning parts of your new landscape into perpetually wet swamps. This can be the most important issue to a landscape architect due to this potential for damage. Backyard drainage may also be overlooked entirely by a designer poorly trained in grading and drainage.

Do You Have Drainage Problems?A good designer will analyze the nature of your yard, and may “shoot the grades” to establish the exact topography no matter how flat the site may seem. Spot elevations tell the designer where problems lie so that she can solve them through design.

Ground water can also play an important role in drainage, and it is directly related to rainfall patterns. In the low lying areas of the South, the water table can be just inches below the surface. Such conditions create all sorts of problems for construction and limit planting options.