It can be easy to think of your home as sitting on solid, immovable ground. However, while the ground under your feet may feel firm and steady, it can be affected by factors that include temperature and moisture. In fact, water is one of the most common causes of damage to homes and foundations. This is because water can easily penetrate the soil around your home, causing changes while seeking the path of least resistance. Over time, constant exposure to water can lead to larger problems, including basement flooding and foundation damage. Because water is so potentially damaging to your home’s inherent structure, proper drainage becomes an essential component of a healthy foundation and a problem-free home.
Parts of Your Drainage System
Your home’s drainage system has many components. The most basic part of your drainage system is your gutters—these simple devices are designed to capture rainwater and snow runoff as it leaves your roof, funneling it away from your home and your foundation via downspouts. In most cases, your gutter system will utilize downspout extensions, which sit at the bottom of each downspout and ensure that water is deposited a safe distance away from your home’s foundations. Many homes also have a sump pump installed in the basement or crawlspace; this device sits at the lowest point of the home and activates when it detects excess water. Your sump pump will pump water out of your basement and directly into a storm drain or other safe area to prevent flooding and water damage.
The key to protecting your foundation and preventing basement flooding is to ensure your home has adequate drainage. Poor drainage can often be observed after a rainfall—you may spot large puddles or find soggy spots in your yard. Additionally, areas of excessive plant overgrowth can also be indicative of a drainage problem that could potentially affect your foundation. There are many simple ways to improve drainage around your home. First, keep your gutters clean and well maintained. You should clean your gutters at least twice a year to remove debris that could block them, causing water to overflow directly onto the ground around your foundation. Check to make sure all downspout extensions are in good repair and pointed away from your home. If your home has been continually affected by basement flooding or poor yard drainage, consider installing a French drain. French drains can address shallow or deep drainage problems by providing a ready trench where excess water can easily collect for transportation to a drainage ditch, sewer system, or other location. If your home is built on a hill, a retaining wall may also help to prevent flooding and foundation damage by reducing the amount of water that runs into the soil around your foundation.
If you have questions or concerns about drainage around your Dallas or Fort Worth home, working with a foundation specialist can help you determine whether additional drainage is needed to protect your foundation. Visit our website to find out more about improving drainage around your home or business, as well as the other key components of a healthy foundation. We also invite you to check out our blog for additional information that can protect your foundation and your home.