Drainage Problems: Signs & Solutions


Does this Look All Too Familiar?
In undeveloped landscapes, Mother Nature has gradually shaped the earth for rainwater to be able to naturally flow and be readily absorbed into the watershed. Once an area has been modified by developers, however, land is rendered in new ways which can create significant obstructions to water flow. While developers tend to focus on the drainage of common spaces, individual properties are often not given adequate attention and costly problems arise. One good storm can quickly create overflowing downspouts & gutters, backed up pipes, and other lingering nuisances.

Problem Categories
At Hydroscapes, we like to define drainage needs in three general categories:

    • Site Grading Problems: Grading is the primary and most basic form of water control. A well designed and executed grading plan will move surface water away from your foundation and prevent soggy areas where water pools up. Unfortunately, inadequate grading is very common in both old and new construction. It can cause wet basements, termite problems, wood rot on the home and poorly drained soils that lead to unhealthy and unpleasant landscapes.
    • Storm Water Problems: Large and intense rainfall events seem to be more common today compared with past decades. Coupled with an increase in impervious surfaces from new construction, these combined factors are creating more frequent occurrences of storm water overwhelming our infrastructure. This can lead to soil erosion, overflowing gutters and often more costly, flooding basements, garages and first floors of homes.
    • Standing Water Problems: Do you have an area of your property that just takes too long to dry out after a storm? This is a common problem that can result from a poorly graded site, a landscape that has heavy clay soil (common to many parts of the mid Atlantic), mulch build up in beds, or a site that has a continuous source of slow moving water coming from an adjacent property. Muddy kids, muddy pets, growing mosquito populations, lawn mowers getting stuck, and unsightly brown patches in your grass can all occur. Fortunately, we can help!

Drainage Solution Examples
Before flooding can cause structural & property damage, sewer backup, foundation settlement, or devaluation of your property, there are a variety of effective solutions that we can install to prevent any further damage. Protection of your property from the threat of storm water is where we excel!

    • Pipe Extensions: Downspouts and sump pumps often discharge water in areas too close to a foundation. Connecting additional pipe to the discharge point and extending it underground and away from the property is consistently an effective technique for redirecting invasive water. [Pic 6]
    • French Drains: A perforated pipe located at the bottom of a carefully constructed trench, wrapped with fabric and back filled with gravel. Rainwater is able to efficiently seep into the pipe to be channeled away. Newer designs feature pipe pre-wrapped in porous material. [Pic 4]
    • Regrading: Strategically modifying the elevation of a landscape to redirect the flow of water can have a tremendous impact in resolved poor property drainage. Grading can range from subtle slopes to the construction of more sizable berms.
    • Dry Wells: Passive, underground structures where excess storm water is diverted into from one or more sources. Water gradually seeps into the groundwater table thereafter, thus reducing surface runoff. Dry wells hold an average of 50 gallons and are used in smaller applications. [Pic 1]
    • Pop Up Drains: An inconspicuous and strategically located discharge point for rainwater which has been diverted underground. [Pic 2]
    • Porous Pave: A cool new product made from recycled tires that can be installed as an aesthetically pleasing, highly permeable surface alternative. Its durability allows it to be used along driveways, in place of walkways, or around patios where rainwater may have previously pooled. [Pic 5]
    • Storage Tanks/ Infiltration Tanks: Check out our Rainwater Harvesting page for more information on this topic. [Pic 3]
    • Catch Basins: Strategically placed water collection points designed to blend into a landscape while channeling water into connected underground piping.
    • Sump Pumps: While we strongly feel that most drainage problems can be effectively addressed on the exterior, in select circumstances, interior work including sump pump installation can be a necessary and effective solution. Check out our Sump Pump page to learn more.