November 19, 2016

DrainageAlthough the good weather might seem like a relief, especially after winter or a heavy rainstorm, the probability of storm water damage is just beginning. Runoff water often overwhelms natural and human-made systems quickly, causing flooding and property damage. Taking the necessary measures to prepare your yard and home for proper drainage helps you to avoid costly, and time-consuming repairs after the bad weather.

In a natural environment, runoff water usually is absorbed by the soil, flows into water bodies such as streams, rivers, and lakes, or evaporates into the atmosphere. However, recreating this natural environment on your property to address runoff water might be necessary. The measures to take include planting different types of vegetation such as trees, building rain gardens, and installing cisterns or rain barrels for roof water collection.

How can you protect your Michigan home from storm water this fall?
Understanding the unique features of your property is the key to developing and implementing a suitable and effective yard drainage system. Going outside during a storm and observing how the water flows by taking note of the different slopes and gradients as well as whether or not they divert water from your home is important. Look for low spots pooling or collecting water and for steep slopes with signs of surface erosion.

You should consider the measures necessary to protect your home from water runoff. Rainwater falling on roofs, patios, driveways, and other impervious areas usually moves across the ground surface at high speeds. As such, the property near such areas often is more susceptible to stormwater damage. Because it prevents the absorption of water, frozen soil increases the risk of damage. Replacing the impervious locations with porous surfaces such as pavers or permeable paving stones might also help. Some of the other questions to consider include:

Is the stormwater falling on impervious surfaces diverted from your home?
Impervious surfaces include patios, walkways, driveways, and roof gutter downspouts. You should direct the runoff water from such surfaces away from your house and to the areas capable of absorbing or slowing the flow like landscaped areas.

Is there a stream, pond, or lake nearby?
It is vital to consider the floods potential and how it could impact your property. You can research your local flood maps since they usually entail the flood water levels of various storm events.

Impervious surfaces
Whether or not any impervious surface in your home has a negative pitch back
The installation of area drains or trench drains helps to prevent pooling and also diverts water away from your house.

Stone wall

Do you have retaining walls?
If your property has retaining walls, having a drainage system installed to alleviate pressure behind the wall is important. You should also clean weep holes periodically to ensure they do not clog. Do not allow the surface water to cascade over your retaining walls. Divert the water around or to the end of these walls instead.

Is any part of your house below ground level?
Ensure you properly seal any foundation cracks and plumbing lines penetrating subsurface walls. Install a water collection system like a sump pump if your basement is prone to water intrusion.

Although preventing against all potential damages resulting from storm water runoff during heavy acts of nature is almost impossible, the measures mentioned above can help you to protect your home whenever the storms hit.