Do You Have Landscape Drainage Problems? Signs & Solutions

Water is one of your home’s biggest enemies, yet the whole structure is constantly subjected to it. This means that constant vigilance is your best weapon to prevent mold, rot, foundation damage, leaks, settling, and other hazards.

How does water cause damage? What are the signs? How are these problems fixed? Where can you get help? Here are answers to your most important questions about landscape drainage.

How Does Water Damage Your Home and Yard?

Water comes and goes, but its effects are sometimes lasting. As water flows around your yard, it carries off small portions of soil and debris. Eventually, these losses add up to changes in the grading and slope of the yard. Water can also cause additional compaction of soils around your home’s foundation resulting in a negative grade directing water toward the foundation. Overtime water starts poling and flowing toward the house.

These changes in angle then contribute ever more to damage to your home’s foundation and basement. While the structure may seem like an impenetrable barrier against rain, snow, and ice, it’s actually fragile. Concrete foundations contain small pores into which moisture can penetrate. And as temperatures rise and fall, that water will expand and contract — eventually forming cracks, chips, spalling, leaks, and shifting.

What Are Some Signs of Drainage Problems?

The most obvious indicator of drainage problems in your yard is standing and pooling water long after it should be gone. Observe how water flows from the house’s roof and gutters, around the yard, and near your foundation. Where does it settle and for how long? Mere light rain or sprinkler use shouldn’t result in excessive pooling. If it does, your yard needs better drainage right away.

Inspect the home’s foundation and basement or crawl spaces too. Look for water marks on both the interior and exterior concrete and walls. Occasional water marks high up on the basement’s walls could mean water is sometimes backing up in one area above ground. Watermarks all around the house are more problematic, especially if these occur below ground level. This may indicate leakage from water tables.

After water is gone, you can also see its long-term effects on materials. Foundation concrete might chip and peel. Wood warps and rots. As the outer layer degrades and erodes away, the aggregate in concrete becomes visible and chips off as well. Cracks and warping are other common signs of ongoing damage. The water could also leave tell-tale deposits of minerals, known as efflorescence, on the concrete.

How Are Drainage Issues Fixed?

The good news is that whatever your drainage problems, there are usually a variety of solutions to fit your budget and needs.

Some of these fixes are simple and budget-friendly. For example, you might install a French drain, which is a pipe with holes in it into which water can drain and be carried away. Water pooling below downspouts? Extend the downspouts several feet or more away from the foundation or bury them underground. The problem could even be coming from improperly installed sprinklers and drip systems.

As mentioned, changes in the height and depth of the ground around your house is a common cause for poor drainage. If the puddling or unwanted runoff is limited to one area, this can often be addressed by regrading that section by hand. Professionals will fix large-scale grading issues with heavier equipment and a grading plan that encompasses the entire yard.

Your property may also benefit from better gutters. Tremendous amounts of rain and snowmelt run off the roof into gutters and downspouts. But gutters can also get cracked and damaged over time, and they become clogged with debris. When the gutters and downspouts are insufficient, water spills over to fall all around the foundation and force its way into the concrete.

Finally, there are ways to prevent damage even if drainage issues can’t be fully resolved. You might use a sump pump to keep a basement dry, improve waterproofing, level or raise the foundation, upgrade materials, or add retaining walls.

Where Can You Get Help?

If you see signs of drainage problems in your yard or on the base of your house, don’t wait to get help. Although small fixes can be made by handy homeowners, it’s unwise to underestimate the amount of water or damage you may be facing. DIY fixes can also make problems worse. For instance, if you grade your yard the wrong direction, you might end up creating expensive issues in your neighbour’s yard.

Start by meeting with foundation and drainage professionals to find the best solutions. Straight Line Construction Co. can help. We’ve assisted your Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona neighbours with their property protection needs, and we can fix yours too. Call us today to make an appointment or get more answers to your questions.

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Straight Line Construction

Straight Line Construction has changed a great deal over the last 30+ years in the industry, but one thing remains the same: our commitment to quality and to designing and installing permanent solutions to foundation settlement issues. Beginning with small residential jobs more than 30 years ago when the family-owned company was founded by Tim Davis, Sr., Straight Line Construction today repairs cracking residential and commercial foundations through its Ram Jack product toolkit and designs solutions for large infrastructure and industrial projects. We specialize in matching the right solution to each type of foundation repair issue.

Are you building a new home and want to ensure it has a solid foundation? Or is your house experiencing unwanted sagging or a cracking foundation? Are your walls cracked or your doors and windows sticking? As a bonded, licensed, and fully insured foundation repair company, we are proud to serve Colorado homeowners, builders, and commercial contractors. Our technical certifications enable us to offer the highest quality services and the best American-made, environmentally safe products available for foundation repair. Regardless of how your building is shifting or sinking, we can help you stop it. Our 30 years in the business and our designation as a Ram Jack certified dealer means you get the most technologically savvy solution to fix your foundation.

From the factory to the field, we strive to ensure the quality of our products and workmanship meet the highest industry standards. We work with other vetted professionals in the industry. All of our helical piers, push piers, and mounting brackets are manufactured by Ram Jack in Ada, OK, at an ISO-certified facility with American-made steel. Williams Form Engineering in Golden, CO, manufactures our reinforcing bar for ground anchor systems and shares our commitment to quality control and quality assurance.

About Ram Jack

Ram Jack is a family-owned business that began operations in 1968, in Ada, OK, where we currently source our piers and brackets. Back then, concrete piering was the original repair method used simply because it was the only technology available at the time. Over time, it became evident that concrete piers did not provide long-term stabilization of foundations and only provided a short-term warranty period. To guarantee the highest grade of customer satisfaction, a greater solution needed to be found.

The Ram Jack owners embarked on a research program to develop a foundation repair system to stand the test of time. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office first issued a patent to Ram Jack for its foundation repair system in 1985. Over the next few years, additional refinements and patents have followed, resulting in the strongest patented system in the industry. Ram Jack driven pilings are ICC-ES recognized (International Construction Code—Evaluation Services). Ram Jack is one of only two ICC-ES recognized foundation repair companies in the industry. Ram Jack’s products meet or exceed code requirements set down by ICC-ES for both commercial and residential properties.

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