Flooded Basements And Standing Water – What's Causing Your Drainage Problems?

Posted on: 26 August 2015

Proper drainage is very important for keeping your home in good shape. If you have problems with basement flooding, areas of standing water in your yard during heavy rains, or damaged or discolored siding from water damage, then it sounds like you've got drainage problems.

But what's the root cause?

Erosion or Improper Yard Slope

Perhaps your yard was never properly sloped to drain water away from your house, or perhaps erosion from heavy rains has altered its slope. But the perfect yard isn't flat; it has a gentle grade to carry water away from your home's foundation. If the problem you notice most is areas of standing water scattered through your yard after it rains as well as around the edges of your home, this is likely your problem; you may even be able to see the unevenness of your yard.

The most common solution to this is to call a landscaper to check your yard's drainage. It may be possible to grade your yard so that it carries water away; if you live in an area with heavy rains, it might be necessary to install channels or French drains underground to move the water where it should go.

No Gutters

If your home lacks gutters, this is very likely to be causing your problems. Properly installed gutters shunt the rainwater away from the foundation of your home, keeping water from backing up into the foundation or basement. Siding damage is also a key sign that your home is suffering from its lack of gutters; letting water simply pour down the sides of your house can cause damage to paint, warping of wood, and staining and discoloration of many other siding materials.

Calling a roofing contractor or gutter specialist from a company like Alaka'i Raingutters & Supplies ensures you'll get gutters that direct water properly. It's important for your gutters to be properly pitched so that standing water doesn't accumulate in them; they will also need sufficient downspouts for the climate you live in and the amount of rainwater you get. It's also important that they have drains or splash blocks at the ends of the downspouts to keep water from pooling near your home. A properly designed gutter system is complex, but it's also a lifesaver for drainage problems.

Damaged or Poorly Maintained Gutters

If you do have gutters, you should also ask yourself whether you've been keeping up with their maintenance. If you've let them get clogged or overgrown with weeds, you're not getting the drainage benefits of having gutters at all. Damage from hailstorms can also change the pitch of a gutter; it's even possible your gutter was installed improperly.

If your gutters look clean, take a look at them after a rainstorm; if there's standing water in your gutters, there's a problem with their drainage, and you should find a contractor to take a look at them. If they have storm damage, it can likely be repaired. If they were improperly installed, it may be necessary to install a new gutter system.

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