Drainage solutions for every home and style
As homeowners, our relationship with water can be complicated. Outdoor water features, pools, and streams bring joy and value to the landscape, but that same water can wreak havoc if it seeps into our homes or floods that same landscape.
Managing water issues is stressful and often has the homeowner fearing the next hard rain. Thankfully, there are several solutions for directing the flow of water around your home so you can once again enjoy the sound of a summer storm without fear of water damage.
Ideally, rain falls on your roof and into a gutter system and then goes to well-placed downspouts or rain chains. Water can be collected in rain barrels or directed away from the home and into the yard, where it can readily drain away from the foundation.
The system is a simple one, yet water issues surface when any one of these pieces fails. Poorly aligned, or broken gutters can affect roofing systems, and clogged downspouts can leave water pooled at the foundation, both resulting in costly repairs.
Birds and mice have been known to nest in gutters and downspouts, creating tough blockages and sometimes a dilemma. (Do you wait until the baby birds leave the nest?) Keeping an eye on your critical water systems will curb potential issues. Here are some simple ways to ensure water is moving throughout your drainage system properly.
Inspect gutters. Most homes are designed with gutters that collect water from the roof and channel it to downspouts. Inspect your gutters with each season to ensure they are free of debris and in good condition. Repair damaged areas and keep gutters free of mold. If your gutters are routinely clogged with leaves, consider leaf guards throughout or in the offending areas.
Check downspouts. Gutters channel water into downspouts, which direct water away from the home. Over time, seams can fail, and water can escape and seep into the foundation. Make sure they are free of debris and direct water far enough away from your home. Any big box store and most garden centers will have solutions for extending downspouts, so the water is carried further away or delivered directly into the ground.
An alternative to downspouts, rain chains transport water from gutters to the ground along a chain. It is an attractive feature, but relies on the ground having proper drainage via a French drain, slope, rocks or some combination. Rain barrels can also be used to collect water and then water the landscape. These solutions can be combined depending on your goals and water requirements.
With a bit of diligence and maintenance, your home’s water system should easily keep your home dry and well-drained throughout the year.