Quick Tip: What can I do to improve my landscape's drainage?
During the dry-spell in May, our phones were going crazy with irrigation questions, but as the summer has rolled in and the heavy rains with it - we get a lot of calls to solve Gainesville drainage concerns.
Do you have concerns about where the water run-off from your downspouts are washing away the soil at the foundation of your home?Do you have an issue with standing water sitting in areas of your Gainesville landscape?
This month's quick tip is on how to solve both of these problems correctly. Whether you hire us to install it or if you're handy you can do it yourself, but either way it's important information that many people have concerns about this time of year.
The first steps in planning out a drainage system are to know where the problems are coming from, and where you want the to be moved to. Many times, the answer is in making sure water from your roof and gutters don't become a problem in your foundation and landscape.
Three solutions that we regularly use in our drainage installations are the pop-up gutter drain, the french drain, and the dry well.
1. Pop-up Gutter Drains
The gutters that encircle your home’s roofline are great for collecting runoff water and preventing it from seeping into the ground next to your home’s foundation. But they won’t do you any good if the water is not successfully directed out of your downspouts and away from your home. Splash blocks may work for small amounts of water, but they won’t be able to handle a major downpour because the excess water just runs back to the foundation. Downspout extensions wcan also work with small amounts of water, but they can be unsightly and aren’t always practical.
Here’s a solution: pop-up gutter drains. Instead of using a couple paragraphs to describe them, I'll just use a simple photo. As you can see below, a pipe is attached to the downspout and the water is taken underground and out away from the home into the lawn, where it pops up out of a small green emitter to water than landscape, but far enough away from the house not to worry about it affecting the home's foundation.
2. The French Drain
The most reliable way to eliminate undesirable, free-standing water is to install French drains with slotted pipes, filter fabric, and gravel. The old way of installing French drains was to do it without the gravel and the fabric. Without the gravel and the fabric, however, the drain can clog up with sand and soil over time.The best practice for installing French drains is to use perforated drainage pipes, which allow water to enter or exit through small openings along the pipe. The drain pipe and gravel create a void in the ground where the water can go and travel away from the area where it would puddle up and cause concern.
3. The Dry Well
A dry well is an underground structure that disposes of stormwater runoff by dissipating it into the ground, where it merges with the local groundwater. Typically, the ones we use are cylinder shaped which act very similar to a french drain, except instead of the void being long and narrow, it's larger and disperses the water in one area of the lawn.
The basic goal of drainage is to protect your home and landscaping by moving the water from it's problem area (typically where your downspouts dispense rainwater) and move it away from the home. This is a fundamental part of having an effective landscape and protecting your most valuable investment - your home, Whether you're a Do-It-Yourselfer, or you plan on hiring a professional Gainesville Drainage Installer, we urge you to put it at the top of your list as tropical storm/hurricane season is upon us and that's the most important time to have a functioning drainage system. If you think you have drainage concerns with the little summer rains we've been experiencing, you do not want to see what a tropical storm can do.