Foundation problems often can be traced to foundation drainage issues. It is important to keep water drained away from the home foundation. Poor drainage can cause standing water under the house, flooded basements and foundation instability.
Good drainage keeps a consistent moisture level in soil under the foundation, reducing foundation settling or heave. In addition, proper drainage is required by area building codes.
Use Slopes to Achieve Optimal Drainage Conditions
According to the EPA, patio slabs, walks and driveways need a minimum slope of 1/4 inch per foot away from the house with back-fill to prevent settling. The final grade must be sloped away from the foundation by 1/2 inch per foot over a minimum distance of 10 feet. Keeping the proper slope allows water to drain away from the house foundation.
Why is this important? The EPA presents two ways foundations are compromised by poor drainage. These include “surface water from rain and snow that drains from the yard toward the foundation because of incorrect grading” and “water that drains from the roof and is deposited next to the home’s foundation instead of being carried away.”
The International Residential Code or IRC does require drainage “around all concrete or masonry foundations that retain earth and enclose habitable or usable spaces below grade.” This includes your crawlspace or basement. Well-draining soils may be the exception. However, if your area has expansive clay soil, proper foundation drainage is essential.
Drainage Problems are Worse in Areas with Expansive Clay Soils
Expansive clay soils absorb water more readily than other types of soils. When saturated, the soil expands and heaves upwards towards the foundation, exerting pressure. As the soil dries it contracts, releasing pressure. If the expansive soil is not kept at a consistent rate of saturation, the continual heaving will cause foundation damage. This can lead to leaking basements, cracks in drywall, sagging floors and other structural problems. These symptoms can also evolve into air quality issues over time.
How to Fix Drainage Problems?
Olshan offers a comprehensive lineup of drainage products and services designed to remove excess water under the foundation while helping to improve foundation performance and preventing future cracks. Available drainage products and services include :
- Double Barrel Drains
- Downspout Extensions
- French Drains
- Surface Drains
- Subsurface Drainage
- Catch Basins
- Interior basement and crawl space drainage
- Exterior basement and crawl space drainage
Our experienced, Certified Technicians are trained to carefully investigate the drainage problems impacting your structure before developing a cost-effective repair program unique to your home. Our Technicians take great pride in configuring repair systems that help protect the foundation, keep your lawn dry, flowers healthy and improve the overall look of your landscape.
Drainage assessments are 100% free and there’s never any obligation. Get in touch now to schedule your assessment.