If you have issues with water pooling near your foundation and entering into your basement, then you have a drainage problem on your property. If a professional inspection reveals an eroded foundation, a sinking home, or other serious issues, then speak with a contractor immediately. The placement of a french drainage system may be a good idea. This system may be helpful for minor drainage issues too or you may want to forego the cost and make some of your own drainage changes to your property. A few good suggestions are outlined below.
Create A Foundation Barrier and Slope
If water seems to pool near your foundation and the water table in your area is relatively low, then it is likely that your property slopes towards your home. This allows water to run to your house instead of away from it before it has a chance to seep into your soil. If you also have compacted soil or earth around your home that is made mostly out of clay, then drainage problems will be even more severe.
To help reduce this issue, build a barrier and a slope next to your foundation that will force water away from your house. The base of the barrier should be constructed out of crushed stone gravel. A small gravel type that will keep water from draining into the earth near your house is best. Crushed stone #67 that includes pieces of limestone or granite that are 3/4 of an inch wide or smaller is a good choice. This material is typically used as fill. The fine particles mixed in with the stone will help to create a sort of cement that will prevent drainage.
Purchase the crushed stone material and add about six inches of the material close to your foundation. Use a rake to create a gentle slope down to the edge of your lawn with the stones. Work away from the foundation until the slope extends about three or four feet. Place about six inches of soil over the stones and slope it in the same manner. When you are done, plant grass seed over the soil that will help to pull fluid from the ground. Bluejoint reed-grass, golden sedge, and blue Siberian types of grass are all good choices. If you want a bit of decoration in the area, then plants like elephant's ear, canna, and Siberian iris will work well. Not only will the grasses and other plants help to keep moisture away from your foundation, but they can cut down on erosion as well that can destroy your slope over time.
Add A Dry Well
Helping to force water away from the foundation is a good solution, but water may begin to pool several feet away from your home if a slope is built and if gutters also help to drain water on to a similar area of your property. When this water pools, it means that the soil is saturated and water will start moving to drier areas that are close to the foundation. You can stop this problem by building a dry well around the area where the water is pooling. A dry well is an underground hole that is filled with drainage gravel that helps to carry water down to the natural water table more quickly. The best place for the dry well is the area where you see water pooling. In this area, dig a hole that is both wide and deep. A five or six foot deep and four or five foot wide hole is best. To help with the digging process, rent an electric or gas powered auger to loosen the soil. This will allow you to shovel the dirt easier after the drill works it apart.
Once the hole is dug, fill the opening with large gravel stones that are one inch in diameter or larger. You also can place a dry well barrel in the space. The device will hold water in the well and release it slowly across the drainage rocks that surround it. Once the dry well is finished, secure soil on top.
For more information on solving drainage problems in your yard, check out a site like http://www.rite-waywaterproofing.com.
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