DOWN CAME THE RAIN AND WASHED THE SPIDER OUT …
The Summer of 2013 will be remembered as South Carolina’s ‘Summer of Rain’, damaging dozens of roads, flooding neighborhoods from the mountains to the coast, and ruining the South Carolina Botanical Gardens. The excess surface water, high ground water table, and certain soil types may intensify or exaggerate common problems around structures and their foundations.
When combined with some specific construction details, drainage problems commonly cause moisture problems throughout the house, from the basement to the roof. A wet basement or crawl space is more than just a nuisance. Should you have a crawl space or an unfinished basement used for storage, a simple case of condensation can buckle hardwood flooring on the level above and spawn harmful mold. If this could be you, it’s important to tackle foundation water problems from the outside first.
We service Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms, Charleston, Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, Summerville, Sullivans Island, Johns Island, James Island, West Ashley, North Charleston, Moncks Corner, Goose Creek and neighboring cities.
Call us now. 843-886-9314.
Water will always move to the lowest spot on the property. Sometimes people will try to fill in low areas of the yard to solve their drainage problems, but in reality, this does little more than just displace the water to another area of their yard. One of the most important parts when solving drainage problems is to prevent your home or structure from becoming lower than your yard.
Drainage System—Cause of Problems
Let’s look at the drainage system and what IS causing the dampness under your home or structure? Not all the reasons are easily fixed, and several can be completely out of your control, so let’s have a look at some of the more common causes:
- Blocked gutters or no gutters pouring water down walls instead of downpipes.
- Water draining from one or more blocks of land outside your property.
- Soil settlement soon after construction if the foundations were not properly compacted.
- Soil settlement due to movement or inundation years after the house was built.
- Natural soil erosion on a sloping block can allow mud to settle in the foundations of a house.
Prevention is always better than cure, so here are some do’s and don’ts to help prevent damp foundations and solve your drainage problems:
- Do clean your gutters regularly to prevent rain water flowing where it shouldn’t.
- Do build up settled areas where water could build up and penetrate the house foundations
- Don’t create barriers that prevent water flow – for example, by building flower beds against the walls of the house
- Don’t allow sprinklers to hit the walls of the house.
South Carolina building codes require that the dirt should slope away from the house for six inches below the foundation for 10 feet around the house. This means "no raised beds" around the house or you will create a funnel for water to be forced under your foundation. If you find your yard or home having drainage issues we recommend a couple of different drainage techniques.
Yard Drainage Solutions
Of course, some drainage improvements can be fairly simple, such as unclogging drains or adding downspouts and replacing flashing. If raised beds are the issue, you should start by removing the dirt to get the six-inch drop from the foundation and down into the yard.
If you have a low lying area that holds water and have an area to drain to (such as a drainage culvert, retention pond, marsh area) then a French Drain is a good option. These drains can siphon off water and move it to the lower natural water holding areas. French Drains are "gravity drains" and are the best because they will continue to drain in all conditions.
Sump Pump or Call a Professional
If you have no low-lying areas for gravity drains you will need to use a sump pump to improve any drainage issues. The negative side of using a sump pump is that they often require maintenance to clean out leaves and debris from the pump area. They also need electricity to run so they do not work during extreme weather conditions, such as: hurricane, heavy rains, or any time there are power outages. Many drainage problems can be solved with the above techniques. However, calling on a professional can be the right choice to save your home from the harmful effects that water can cause.
OH! And don’t worry about that spider. I have it on good authority that the spider wasn’t washed out completely. He was out and about and was seen going up the spout again!
Pleasant Landscape’s knowledgeable and qualified technicians are experienced in the area of drainage problems and skillfully evaluate each drainage issue. We are here to answer any questions, so please feel free to call or email me.
Isle of Palms 843-886-9314 ~ Summerville 843-851-8008 ~ John’s Island 843-768-6808 ~
Daniel Island 843-216-4796