Proper Foundation Drainage
Fun Facts: In the US expansive soils cause over $2.3 billion dollars of damage every year
When water stands on the ground next to your foundation it can saturate the soils. This causes the soils to expand. Expanding soils can lift your home, possible many inches. Foundation Drainage is the key to keeping the soils around your home from getting saturated. Usually, if the water within 10 feet of your home drains away within an hour of rain stopping, your drainage is good. 99% of the time when a foundation moves it is because the soil under the foundation moved. 90% of the time the soil moves because the water content of the soil changes. Consequently, most foundation movement can be controlled by controlling the water in the ground. Proper foundation drainage is the best prevention from requiring foundation repair.
The easiest way to drain the soils around your home is to grade (shape) the surface so the ground slopes away from your home, dropping at least 2 inches in every 10 feet. (Engineers often recommend slopes of 1 to 2 inches per foot for 5 feet. Unfortunately, many lots are so flat that such slopes are not possible.)
If your lot is so flat that you can not get a good slope on the surface, you can install low relief area drains. Low relief drains are only 6 inches deep, standard area drains are 12 inches deep. In situations with little slope, connect the area drains to smooth PVC drain pipe. Smooth pipes will drain effectively with slopes of as little as 1 inch of drop every 10 feet. Run the pipes out to the street.
Do not use the black corrugated ABS pipe. The corrugated pipe will bend over time as the ground moves. As the pipe becomes uneven, it traps water and debris. ABS pipe is more likely to get plugged up, as the corrugations will catch debris, such as twigs and leaves.
Do not let your gutters dump water against the side of your foundation. Use splash blocks to disperse the water. Better, if you have a drainage system next to your house, connect the downspouts to the drain. Do not connect downspouts to perforated pipes!
The wettest month of the year, in north Texas, is May. If you have a foundation drainage problem, call Advanced Foundation Repair before the heavy spring rains come. Request your complimentary quote today.