How Can I Tell If I Need Drainage Work?

Your gutters are your first line of defense against puddling water. Prolonged water exposure is the primary cause of foundation damage. The signs of residential drainage problems include a gushing gutter, moving mulch, puddling water, ground mildew, and more. We will discuss these at length; these are telltale signs that your drainage is not doing its job and requires a serious look from a professional.

1. Puddling Water

It’s normal for water to puddle around your yard after rain. It becomes abnormal, however, if the puddle remains for days on end. The water is supposed to eventually drain out to the street or filter through the soil. Water puddling indicates one of two things: the drainage system needs work, and the yard is likely not properly sloped.

2. Gushing Gutters

Is water exiting the downspout sporadically instead of flowing out smoothly? This is a sign of a backed-up gutter. You may also notice mud splatters on the wall; this indicates water coming out forcefully and in short bursts. You will need to clean the gutters. In most cases, you may just need to get on a ladder and remove physical debris by hand. It’s also possible, though, that the gutters may be damaged, improperly pitched, or undersized. The gutters may need to be reconfigured.

3. Ground Mildew

If you spot or smell mildew on the ground, that’s a tipoff that an issue is occurring at ground level.

4. Shifting Mulch

Do you notice mulch moving away from certain areas, leaving bare spots in the soil? Mulch shifts when water collects and carves a gulley within the landscape. Often, the water will carry away much of the mulch and vegetation and drag them into spots where they don’t belong. Aside from poor drainage, water can also puddle due to compact soil that doesn’t drain properly. This is especially common in the North Texas region where the heavy clay-based soil is prone to compaction.

5. Bowing Floors

Water can seep into the concrete foundation especially if there are existing cracks and splits in the slab. This causes further warping and expansion. Of course, you can’t see the foundation directly, but you will notice something is awry when the floors feel a bit “off.” You may notice some parts feel like it’s bulging, slanted, or sloped.

Correct Drainage Problems ASAP

Drainage issues will only exacerbate over time. Don’t ignore the drainage problem signs, believing they are just the normal recourse after a rain spell. The effect of ponding water can be devastating to the concrete foundation. Contact Align Foundation Repair if water time and again lingers around your property. Your drainage system likely requires some refitting. We provide a free estimate with every home visit.

Do You Repair Existing Drainage Systems?

Can a residential drainage system be repaired, or are you better off replacing the entire system? The answer depends on the extent of the damage and other factors. At Align Foundation Repair, we offer effective, long-term existing drainage system repair solutions, though in some rare cases, the whole system may need to be replaced.

Let’s explore the factors that determine when repair is doable and the situations that warrant a total drain replacement.

When Can a Drain Be Repaired?

If you see puddles forming around the home and dangerously close to the foundation, then the drainage is clearly failing. What is the cause of the drain failure in the first place? The most common cause is a simple backup due to a buildup of solid debris accumulating in the pipes. The drains can be cleared using a number of techniques, such as hydro-jetting.

The issue may also lie within the pipe itself. The pipe may be sagging (AKA “bellying”) or be separated at the joints. If gutters are involved, the pipe may pull away from the roof. These issues are repairable.

When Should You Replace the Entire Drainage?

A simple reason for replacement is old age. The definition of “old,” though, depends on the type of pipes. Cast iron pipes, for example, have a lifespan of about 50 years. PVC pipes, more common in modern homes in the North Texas region, have a similar lifespan of 50 to 60 years. If you’re experiencing constant issues, and the pipes are within five years of their life expectancy, then it may be time for a replacement.

Issues may also arise due to poor initial installation. Drainage needs to be installed with its surroundings in mind. The driveway, for example, may have a section that angles inward, allowing water to puddle. Likewise, the home itself may be built on the downward end of a slope. These are issues that need to be addressed beforehand. However, the previous installer may not have taken these facets into consideration. In this instance, the entire system may need to be replaced or reconfigured.

Other situations that may require a full replacement include:

  • Extensive pipe corrosion
  • Extensive pipe damage from tree roots
  • Old pipes not conforming to modern regulations

We Repair and Replace Existing Drains

Align Foundation Repair installs drainage systems, including French, surface, and channel drain solutions. Likewise, we can also fix a current drainage system if the issue is relatively minor, and the system as a whole is still in fair condition.

Only an in-person evaluation from one of our technicians can make the determination. Give us a call today; we provide a free estimate with every home visit.

What Type of Maintenance Is Required for My Drainage System?

The drainage system on your property is one of the most critical components yet one of the most overlooked. Without it, water is susceptible to ponding precariously close to the foundation. This is especially so in the North Texas region where soil erosion creates cavities and gaps for water to settle. Drainage system maintenance is pivotal. Do you know how to care for it and keep it in usable condition? The solution includes both DIY and professional upkeep.

Professional Maintenance

While there are DIY measures, they do not replace the yearly or so professional inspection. Most drainage pipes are installed below surface; homeowners have no way of observing the pipe interior to examine its condition. A professional can assess the pipes without any intrusive digging. This is made possible thanks to miniature cameras that can be snaked into the pipe. This is no different than the cameras used for observing an air duct system or plumbing pipes in the home. The camera can detect debris; removing debris can be achieved using some form of water flushing method, such as hydro jetting.

Remove Nearby Vegetation

While you can’t check the pipe interior, you can check the grate. The openings can easily become clogged with debris carried over from flowing water. Constantly check the grate and remove obstructions. It also helps to rake away nearby leaves and keep the immediate vicinity clear of foliage. This is especially important during spring and fall when vegetation is in abundance.

Remove the Grate

If you’re a bit more hands-on, you can remove the grate and remove debris by hand or use a hand cultivator. You can even use a basic shop vac to reach beyond the depths not possible using your hands alone. Keep in mind, though, that even this will not reach the most inner depths of the pipe and definitely not if the pipe branches in multiple directions. This is why an occasional professional assessment is still required.

Clean the Termination Area

Don’t limit the cleaning to the opening at the grate. We also suggest checking the termination area. This is the point where the drain’s basin empties out. This should be located towards the outer boundaries of your property where the water is funneled away from your home. Remove the grate and clean this area the way you would the entrance point.

Flush the Drain Pipes

Every few months, flush the pipes by inserting a garden hose into the catch basin and turning the water on. The pressure from the water will flush out accumulated debris. If this works, you will see solid sediments exit the termination point. We must stress that this DIY measure – while effective – is not a replacement for professional hydro jetting.

We Maintain Your Drainage System Year-Round

Leave the annual cleaning to Align Foundation Repair. We clean and repair all types of drains, including French, surface, and channel drains. Drainage for foundation maintenance is integral for your home especially if you reside in a region known for frequent rain spells. Give us a call today for an inspection that includes a free estimate.