Has the rain of the last few months revealed a drainage problem in your neighborhood, or worse, in your yard? After the August flood waters receded, did you still have puddles and standing water around your home for days? This could present a problem for your home’s foundation. When water sits in your yard for an extended period of time, is affects the soil that is under and around your foundation. It makes the soil less dense, which can result in shifting of movement if you have a pier and beam foundation. It can lead to sagging or cracking if you have a slab. But, you don’t have to let a Baton Rouge drainage problem become a foundation problem.
There are ways to correct poor drainage in your yard, and depending on the severity of the problem, you may be able to handle it on your own. The first step is to determine what is causing the problem. Every yard should have some level of a slope running away from the house. However, that slope isn’t always uniform, and different things, like having a tree removed, can create dips and low spots over time. Regularly changing the landscaping near your house can also do this. Once you have determined your yard’s slope and where your low spots are, you will be able to correct the problem.
If your drainage problem is very close to your house, the answer may be as simple as extending the downspout of your rain gutters to get the water past any dip. Not only does this create some separation between your house and the water, but it also helps propel the water to where it needs to go to fall in to the natural drainage process in your yard.
If the problem is a low spot that isn’t near the rain gutters, you may want to consider filling it in. If the low spot was caused by having a tree removed, the ground that filled in where that tree was may have appeared level at one point, but dipped as the dirt settled. If you don’t think filling it in is the best option, digging a creek bed to help the water get from point A to point B and beyond is the next viable choice.
If your drainage issue is more severe than a few low spots, you will need to look at more intricate drainage improvements. Installing a drainpipe or two may be necessary. By starting where the water normally pools and ending where you want the water going, you can move water a lot faster with a drainpipe.
Another great option for moving water over a significant distance is a French drain. A French drain is perforated on the bottom, allowing water to seep back into the soil as it moves away from your yard. The reason this is beneficial, is because it allows your yard to retain all the water it can absorb, while sending the excess away; basically giving you the best of both worlds.
If you do have to run a drainpipe or a French drain, the next question becomes, “where is the water going?” If your yard does have a natural slope, then all you’ll really need to do is get the water to the point where the slope takes over. If not, you will either need to have the pipe carry the water to where it will meet with the municipal drainage system, or you may consider installing a dry well.
If left unattended, a drainage problem could turn into a foundation problem. As with so many things around your home, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you think that standing water has already created a problem for your home’s foundation, don’t hesitate to give us a call.