With what appears to be above average rainfall this past winter, drainage problems are beginning to appear. Sometimes people will try to fill in low areas of the yard to solve their drainage problems, but in reality they are just displacing the water to another area of their yard or home.
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One of the most important parts to solving drainage problems is to prevent your home or structure from becoming lower than your yard. Water will always move to the lowest spot on the property.
If one were to spend time constantly filling low areas, they could end up having the lowest area become the area underneath their home. When this happens, one may begin to notice mold that can be hazardous to you and your families' health. I have been involved in a number of jobs where this has occurred and they required drainage solutions.
We had to go in and fill underneath the home in order to raise the ground level under the home to exceed the height of the lawn. Doing this raises the level of the ground under the house to be higher than the yard and thus prevents water from accumulating there. On older properties and even some new ones, the home is built below the road level. This may happen over time, as cities will repave the asphalt roads, which can raise them slowly over a twenty or thirty year period. This will cause low-lying lots, which will hold water during heavy rains. If you are building a new home and have purchased a lot that is below road level, don't skimp on the fill dirt required to bring the yard level higher than the road!
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.
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.
Some people are not fortunate enough to have a low-lying area to drain to. 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. Almost all drainage problems can be solved with the above techniques.
Someone who is experienced in the area of drainage problems should evaluate each drainage issue. If you have any questions please feel free to call or email us.
Call us now. 843-886-9314.