Fight the Flood: Building an Effective Drainage System

Spring rain showers are a welcome relief from the dreary days of winter. However, much like their winter counterparts’ snow and sleet, these showers can wreak havoc on homes and landscapes. Pooling rainwater from ineffective draining systems can lead to flooded plant beds, wet basements, cracked foundation, and mosquitoes (yuck!). A proper drainage system is the best way to manage mosquito population, protect your home, and preserve your landscape from costly repairs associated with standing water. An effective system is comprised of two components: one that collects and moves water away from the home’s foundation and plant beds, and a second that drains the water to prevent pooling.


Gutters and Downspouts

All homes are built with the foundation for an organized drainage system. Gutters and downspouts are used to collect rainwater from the roof and begin the process of diverting it. The rainwater is caught by the gutter and transferred through vertical downspouts to be expelled a safe distance from the house. All too often, this system is rendered ineffective by improperly sloped gutters and shortened downspouts.


Checking gutters and downspouts is the first step to creating an effective drainage system. Gutters should be sloped to prevent sagging and pooling. On average, they should slope .5” for every 10’ of roof leading towards a downspout. Downspouts should run the length of the home and extend at least 2’ to 3’ past the foundation to guide the water into the second part of the drainage system. Downspout extensions can be comprised of underground drain lines, or splash blocks to meet the 2’-3’ minimum requirement. Extensions may actually need to be longer if the yard is sloped towards the home. Once the rainwater has been moved through the gutters and downspouts a drain is used to prevent further accumulation.


French Drains

Although there are a lot of options on the market, the French Drain is one of the most common drainage systems. It is a simple and versatile way to divert water and prevent pooling. Essentially, the French Drain is a trench that can be lined with a variety of materials channeling water into an underground pipe system. Whereas gutters and downspouts manage precipitation from the roof, French Drains manage the water at the ground level. With a slope of no less than 1%, water enters the drain field (or high end) and runs to the exit point (or low end) where it is expelled at a safe distance from the home. This system helps to prevent pooling, seepage, and soil erosion all of which attract mosquitoes and threaten plant health and the home’s structural integrity.


By addressing drainage from top to bottom, homeowners are working to stave off foundation damage, basement leaks, and ensuring an attractive and enjoyable outdoor space free from drowned plant beds and mosquitoes. In our commitment to plant health and landscape integrity, Country Club Landscaping is pleased to offer drainage assessment and installation. Our team of trained professionals will analyze your current drainage system to determine overall effectiveness, provide recommendations, and install downspout extensions and French Drains. Drainage inspection and installation is just one of the many services we offer to meet customer’s needs and enhance their quality of outdoor living.

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