Absolute Foundation Solutions

Drainage Systems

WHY IS DRAINAGE IMPORTANT?

The number one cause for foundation problems in the Jackson Area is from improper drainage around the foundation. Also, because of the makeup of the Yazoo Clay in our area, it has as much potential to allow the building to heave (or rise up) as it could settle. Slab and Conventional Pier and Beam foundations are equally susceptible. Therefore, proper drainage is important around a building.

Moisture under Pier and Beam foundations can lead to mold on the wood support structures, mildew, and eventual rot, resulting in expensive replacement costs not associated with slab foundations, as well as presenting health hazards for the occupants of the structure.

CAUSES OF DRAINAGE PROBLEMS

Most drainage problems result from improper grading. Grading is the slope of the yard. In general terms, a properly graded yard should slope gently downward from the house and toward the street and alley so that all rain falling on the house and yard follows the slope away from the residence.

Additionally, many yards that were once properly graded develop problems, as growing trees and bush root systems create natural dams by raising the adjacent earth. Many flowerbeds are covered with mulch and pine bark each year. As these materials decompose, they naturally add a small amount of dirt to the level in the flowerbed. Over a number of years, the buildup of earth can cause water flow to change and create a drainage problem. Additionally, well-meaning landscaping projects may also re-slope areas of the property and create low spots, or even cause water to flow toward the house.

Also, there can be some underground water or subsurface water that affects the foundation of the residence. This could be an effect of water ponding around the foundation or in an area uphill from the building, soaking in the ground and causing water to pond at the foundation of the building.

TYPES OF DRAINS

  • French Drains – These drains are used to address both surface and subsurface water. French drains consist of a trench with a perforated pipe and washed gravel. The entire length of the drain is capable of collecting water that runs toward it and directing it to a location that is not harmful to your home. French drains also absorb subsurface water, which speeds up the drying out process of soggy soils.
  • Tile Drains – Also known as catch basins, these drains absorb water that flow directly into the basin. These drains are best used in concrete such as driveways and sidewalks where water tends to pond.
  • Channel Drains – These drains typically consist of a narrow channel with a grate on top, usually placed in front of garages and doorways to prevent water from entering the structure. Larger versions of channel drains are also used in commercial applications.