As essential as rain guard gutters, screens, and downspouts are, they represent just one portion of a much broader property drainage strategy. Drainage is something builders need to contend with in the early stages of designing a home. Do you know why? Furthermore, do you know why drainage is so important to your own home?
When we think of drainage, most of us do not go any further than our gutters and downspouts. But builders take the concept much further.They need to consider local soils, how land is graded, plans for landscaping,and even whether there are storm sewers in the area.
Controlling soil erosion could very well be the most visible aspect of proper drainage. Think about your own gutter system. It is designed to collect water running down the roof so that it can be diverted away from your house. Why are gutter systems designed this way? To prevent erosion.
Water running off your roof and falling directly to the ground below would quickly cause erosion of the soil around your foundation.Perhaps it wouldn't be a big deal initially, but several years of constant erosion would eventually jeopardize the structural integrity of your foundation.You could even end up with water inside the house.
Builders put a lot of effort into grading when they build anew home. Unfortunately, poor drainage can lead to erosion well away from the home, erosion that leads to wet spots whenever it rains.
A wet spot is a portion of the yard that collects water because it sits too low. A wet spot is more than just an aesthetic eyesore. Itcan be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests. Proper drainage reduces the likelihood of this sort of thing.
If you have ever experienced chronic wet spots in your yard,perhaps you've also noticed that any grass in the area was eventually replaced by weeds. There is a good reason for that.
Grass and other types of vegetation do not do well when their roots are constantly saturated. Too much water can actually kill them.Weeds, on the other hand, are a lot more resilient. Excess water doesn't bother them.
Proper drainage does not eliminate all the water from your yard. It only gets rid of the excess. The soil retains just enough water to keep desirable vegetation happy. The result is a more lush lawn along with healthier plants and trees.
We couldn't do an article of this nature justice without talking about building codes. Even if you weren't concerned about proper drainage on your property, you could safely bet local officials are. In mostU.S. cities and towns, building codes explicitly describe drainage requirements.
A builder willing to put up new houses without installing proper drainage faces the wrath of municipal code inspectors if he is found out. Simply put, local authorities are not pleased when drainage requirements are not followed.
Not installing proper drainage can lead to flash flooding when it rains. That can create problems for other property owners. It can lead to flooded streets. Municipalities have no desire to pick up the cost associated with flooding resulting from properties that do not properly drain.
It is clear that proper drainage goes well beyond gutter systems and downspouts. Builders address drainage through grading, landscaping,and even mechanical systems designed to divert water away from undesirable locations. What you see with your gutters and downspouts is just one small part of a much larger equation.
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