What Are the Types of Surface Drainage Systems?

Flat, even terrain is ideal for both residential and commercial construction. Unfortunately, tracts of level land are also vulnerable to heavy rainfall, which can saturate the soil or create stagnant pools of water that take months to evaporate.

Saturated soil and standing water can promote mold growth in your home or commercial building or even cause catastrophic damage to your foundation.

One of the best ways to deal with groundwater problems is to install surface drainage systems on your property. These solutions can provide excellent results when used in conjunction with your existing gutters and downspouts.

Two of the most effective options for managing groundwater are surface drains and French drains. Let’s look at how they work.

Surface drains

A surface drain is a ground-level grate placed over an underground catch basin. It’s installed at locations on your property where rainwater tends to pool.

Typically the basin is connected to buried pipes that direct the water to a central collection point such as a lake, stream, city sewage system, or street.

Surface drains do require occasional cleaning to prevent clogs. The grates are visible to onlookers, which may present an aesthetic concern for some property owners. Still, they’re an efficient way to prevent standing water from damaging your home, commercial building, or landscaping.

French drains

A French drain is a channel cut into the soil and lined with landscaping fabric. Corrugated pipe is placed in the drain and covered over with gravel or loose stone. The drain is sloped so that it flows away from the building.

Properly installed French drains resemble naturally formed stone paths, making them a great way to complement shrubs, flowerbeds, and other landscaping features. They’re more effective than surface drains at managing saturated soil. However, they’re also more expensive.

Which solution is right for you?

Which surface water drainage system is right for you? The answer to this question depends on many factors, such as the types of structures you have on your land and the contours of your property.

Determining the best way to go takes a professional on-site evaluation, which is where Align Foundation Repair comes into the picture. Our track record of success gives you the confidence that we’ll do the job right the first time.

Already have a groundwater management system in place that needs servicing? We also provide comprehensive surface drainage system repair services.

Every moment you wait puts your home or commercial building at risk of groundwater damage. To learn more about our drainage solutions, call us today.

Tips to Prevent Soil Erosion Around Your Foundation

Even the sturdiest home foundation can be compromised by less-than-optimal soil conditions, which is why soil erosion prevention is so important for homes in North Texas, where rainstorms are very powerful and can erode soil easily. Learn the key steps to home foundation erosion control.

What Causes Soil Erosion?

First, it helps to understand the primary causes behind soil erosion specific to Dallas and surrounding areas. While multiple factors are at work, running water is the leading cause. Even minor flooding can transport the topsoil from one location to another. Similarly, the impact of falling rainwater can cause topsoil to disperse.

Soil erosion creates gaps in the soil, in turn causing the foundation to shift and eventually crack or even split apart completely. In the home, this can create warped or sloped floors and buckling walls.

Now, let’s examine the steps vital for offsetting soil erosion.

Maintain the Gutter System

Remember, water is the leading cause of soil erosion. Keeping puddling water away from the home is of utmost priority. To prevent water accumulation along the home perimeter, be sure to regularly inspect the gutters. Be sure the downspout is pointed at least five feet away from the house. Also, gutters that are sagging or pulling away from the walls require professional attention. Finally, climb up a ladder and remove physical debris from the gutters at least twice a year.

Install a Ground-Level Drainage System

French drains are one of the most common, though other types include channel and surface drains. A technician will recommend the optimal drainage solution based on the layout of your property. A ground-level drain collects water in a basin and transports it to a more removed location.

Strategic Landscaping

Be mindful of your landscaping, which needs to be about function just as much as visual curb appeal. Keep these pointers in mind:

  • Refrain from planting shrubs or deep-root plants too close to the home. The roots can intrude and disrupt the soil.
  • Consider turfgrass like annual rye, which quickly germinates and helps stabilize the soil. Regardless of the grass type, consider using straw and a seed germination blanket to protect the topsoil.

Examine the Slope

You won’t be able to determine the slope angle with a visual inspection alone. A technician will need to determine your property’s current sloping, if there is any. Ideally, the ground should slope away from the home at a 3% to 5% angle for the first 10 feet.

We Provide Anti-Soil Erosion Measures

If you notice water puddling around your home, then some degree of soil erosion is likely taking place. Contact Align Foundation Repair for home foundation repair services. A technician will evaluate the foundation’s condition and recommend prevention measures. Our Dallas home foundation service providers will recommend a tailored solution specific to your home type.

French Drain System

PVC Vs Corrugated Drain Pipe for French Drains

More homeowners in the North Texas region are investing in French drain installation to protect their foundation from the effects of ponding water. While an effective solution, not all French drains are created equal. Depending on the material and craftsmanship, some drains are prone to backups and accelerated wear. This is why pipe quality matters.

While landscapers use “non-rigid corrugated NDS pipes,” we use drainage grade PVC pipe because it is more durable and longer-lasting, especially when buried under heavy materials like soil. The corrugated pipe is cheaper but not nearly as strong. At your free drainage evaluation, a technician from Align Foundation Repair can demonstrate how easily the corrugated pipe bends under pressure when compared with PVC pipe.

PVC and Corrugated Pipes at a Glance

French, channel, and surface drains typically consist of one of two materials: polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or corrugated pipes. Know which material is being used when having a drain installed on your property. We will state unequivocally right now that PVC is the far more durable material. We highly recommend it over corrugated pipes. Our stance is based on years of industry expertise. We have seen how these two materials hold up under prolonged exposure to the ever-shifting North Texas weather.

The Downside of Corrugated Pipes

Many contractors still use corrugated pipes. The material is cheaper, so homeowners save money in the initial installation. The issue with corrugated pipes is that it’s made of plastic. This is beneficial in one sense because the softer material makes it easier for producing joints, bends, and crests.

The problem is that these pipes are notoriously difficult to clean if a backup occurs. You cannot simply use an auger or plumbing snake to clear the debris because the rotating brush can easily tear through the thin plastic pipe.

PVC Pipes Provide Long-Lasting Durability

A PVC drainage pipe solves the main issue associated with corrugated pipes. PVC is a rigid structure made from synthetic plastic polymer. It will not rupture if exposed to a commercial-strength roto-rooter-type snake. This makes regular maintenance far simpler and more importantly, doable.

Furthermore, the pipe’s smooth interior surface reduces fluid friction and resistance to flow. This offsets sludge and slime build-up and reduces encrustation and tuberculation.

Contractors also prefer to work with a PVC French drain pipe. Despite its tough surface, it can easily be cut with a conventional handsaw. It’s also easier to set the pipes at the proper slope and keep it in place.

We Install High-Quality French Drains

The weather and soil conditions in the Northern Texas region make water too much of a risk factor for residential foundations. This is why French drains are an integral element for foundation longevity. While corrugated pipes have their place in some applications, PVC is the sound solution for a French pipe installation. At Align Foundation Repair, this is our go-to material for underground drainage systems.

Give us a call today for French drain PVC pipe repair and other services.