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Moisture Control in Foundation Repair: Moisture Control and Yard Drainage

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The whole purpose of yard drainage is to control the moisture levels around your home. Improper yard drainage can lead to costly repair bills and an overall frustrating experience for a homeowner. We will go over some basic information about moisture and yard drainage.

Common Issues with Yard Drainage

Problems you can run into with yard drainage are: ? Flooding ? Erosion ? Sedimentation ? Piping ? Ponding ? Negative drainage ? Faulty grade ? Seepage ? Soil saturation ? Soil-moisture fluctuation ? Excessive humidity ? Wicking These lead to soil conditions, such as landslides, soil expansion, soil shrinkage or soil subsidence. If your yard is not properly drained, damage to your property (cracks forming in the foundation) and erosion can occur. Moisture build-up can also destroy metals over time, such as reinforcing steel or gas pipes. Poor yard drainage can also create a perfect environment for mold, mildew, dry rot, mosquitoes, termites and rodents. When moisture starts to crack your foundation or corrode your metals, this can lead to a costly repair bill. Preventing excess moisture around your home through proper yard drainage can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

A Basic Understanding of Moisture

Moisture is everywhere in our environment. It plays the main role in making all life possible, while it plays an important role in breaking down and recycling earth materials. Moisture changes between 3 states: liquid (water), ice (solid) and vapor (gas). Each state affects the earth, changing it and can cause weathering. Proper Yard Drainage Understanding erosion and sedimentation is important when making a yard drainage system. If installed incorrectly, the runoff could lead to an accumulation of sediments where you don?t want them (the street, for example). Or it can cause damage to your yard, especially during a heavy rain storm. When building a drainage system, fill embankments should not be steeper than a 2 (horizontal to 1 (vertical) slope ratio. Irrigation of on-slope vegetation should also be kept to a minimum. And the surface yard drainage should never flow over the face of the slope. Erosion in your yard is never a good thing and you will want to avoid it. Bare soil is erosion-prone and any sloping ground in your yard will be prone to erosion due to this. Planted slopes can have erosion problems as well if the plants have shallow roots and require a lot of water. Due to this, sloping ground should have plants that are drought-tolerant and are deep-rooting. These deep-rooting plants will limit the amount of erosion your yard will face by holding the soil in place. There are many slope-protection systems that can either replace vegetation or compliment any existing vegetation as well. There are important guidelines to follow for grading and drainage control. The goal of a good drainage system is to direct water away from the top of any steep-sloping ground within a drainage conduit, such as a pipe or concrete swale. Any surface runoff can be collected in a brow ditch, which will direct the runoff into the drainage system. If a down-pipe is used, the water in the brow ditch will be collected in a grated sump box from which a buried pipe would transport the water to the base of the slope and into a storm drain. Any drainage system will require regular maintenance to repair any cracks or remove debris from the sumps. Damaged drainage systems can cause damage to your yard due to the water not flowing where it is not supposed to.

Grading is Key

The importance of proper grading cannot be stressed enough. A home should sit at the top of the yard sloping down and away from the home. If the yard is not graded properly, water will collect and seep into the ground. This will cause damage to your homes foundation and can even lead to flooding. If your home doesn?t have proper grading, there are options available to help deal with moisture problems. The more expensive option is to have the property properly graded. This is the most effective means of dealing with any moisture issues around your home. Another option is installing area drains in locations where the water is collecting. These will mitigate the amount of moisture that can get into the foundation. Planning Stage When you are ready to install a drainage system, make sure you survey the property and plan the layout accordingly. You may need to remove walkways, driveways, underground obstructions or even have to do some major landscaping. Make sure to plan accordingly and be prepared for any issue that may arise during the construction process.

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