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Drainage Problems and Solutions

Drainage problems are a common catalyst that prods homeowners in the Apex, Cary area to finally do something with their landscaping. Drainage needs to be considered when doing any landscape project. It is fairly common for us to uncover drainage flaws when we do the demo and clearing at the beginning of a project. A finish grade that worked when the house was built may have settled in places, causing standing water at the foundation. In some cases fixing this is so minor that we don’t even need to charge for it. It is critically important that the grade allows for positive drainage away from the house to prevent the foundation from settling and keep the crawlspace dry.

Another cause of dampness near the foundation is the steady drip, drip, drip of air conditioning drains. It is surprising how much water these drains produce if you consider that the source is simply the humidity the AC is removing from inside the house! It’s not much work at all to run these small lines away from the house or connect them into the existing drainage system.

Older homes often have a few things that need attention. The grade can be so bad I’ve often wondered if it was done properly when the house was built. Clay tile drains will typically be completely non-functional.

Design-wise, in every situation, I am looking for the least expensive, effective solution. Unlike most of what we do, drainage work does not add to home value. If left uncorrected though, drainage problems can impact value. The most elegant solution is this: a grade that allows surface water to simply flow away. No mechanical system to fail or require maintenance, and no un-necessary cost. Grading isn’t the complete solution in every case and we do have a few “tools in our chest” to deal with tricky situations.

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