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Two Reasons to Install a French Drain

Stormwater runoff can be improved around the house by building a French Drain. A French drain is a sloped channel packed with piping and gravel to divert water runoff. Water will travel to the lowest point pulled by gravity. Often in the mountains, swift currents of water will erode the ground forming trenches carved out in the soil. When observed, this is an indication of how the water is flowing and how the ground has been graded. Spotted in the correct location to collect this flow, a French drain can help with alleviating erosion. French drains collect the water to distribute it more effectively.

When to Install a French Drain

French drains are used to alleviate water effervescence on basement walls. The clay soils of western North french drain-drainage-wet basementsCarolina soak in water and don’t drain well. This water builds up against foundation wall basements causes hydrostatic pressure to build. Too much pressure can occur and deteriorate foundation walls. If cracks are apparent, a trained professional licensed landscape contractor can access the flow of water and give suggestions on how to remedy the situation.

When building a retaining wall, it is necessary to build a French drain behind the structure to eliminate hydrostatic pressure on the wall. Extending this drain the whole length of the wall with an outage will keep the wall stable and free of water undermining the foundation and putting undue pressure on the wall.

How a French Drain Is Built

The average French drain is normally 24 inches deep and 18-24 inches wide and slopes to the outlet 3 inches for every 10 feet. Landscape fabric covers the trench and stapled. Six inches of ¾-crushed gravel is placed in the trench and socked perforated pipe is laid on top. Backfill of more ¾-crushed gravel is placed around the diameter of the pipe to provide primary support against lateral pipe deformation. Depending on how it will be french drain-storm water-Ashevillefinished on top will determine what comes next. There are options. A French drain can be finished with gravel or river stone. It can also be covered and topped with soil and grass or mulch. Depending on the finished look and the advice of your landscape contractor will determine how the final steps are performed.

If you are experiencing excess moisture in the wrong places and want to prevent damage to your basement walls or retaining walls, give us a call. We are a Stormwater BMP Inspector with NCSU and have the experience and can improve your drainage issues.

My Basement Leaks When it Rains! Help!

Does your basement leak when it rains? Approximately 934.5 gallons of stormwater will fall from a 1500 sq. ft. roof in a 1-inch accumulation. If the water is not moving away fast enough from a foundation, water will seep down in around the foundation.  Stormwater will penetrate down to the lowest point where it will pool causing basement leaks. Water works with gravity and finds a low point. But how is water getting in?

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Replacing old drainage pipes that have been crushed and clogged.

The hydrostatic pressure against the walls often compromises concrete or cinder block walls. The soil becomes saturated with water.  Drainage can become inefficient due to a number of reasons. Water weighs 62.4 lbs. per cubic foot. Multiply that by your foundation square footage. The result is a lot of hydrostatic pressure against the foundation. This pressure against a wall can compromise the mortar between each block allowing penetration of moisture. With enough water pressure, your basement leaks when it rains because the hollow cores of the blocks will fill with water. Days after a big rain, your basement will still be damp because the water underneath the surface of your lawn is still draining. Cracks and leaking can occur along the floor and wall joints.  This pressure must be alleviated.

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River stone dry beds route water away from foundations.

Basement Leaks & Solutions—

Before a plan is tackled from the inside, consider the exterior remedy. Providing sufficient drainage solutions such as proper grading or correct size gutter systems. Often times the gutter systems on houses aren’t adequate to hold the flow of water. Stormwater will spill over the sides of the gutter system onto the edge of the foundation below.  Water basins for routing water away from the foundation can be installed to keep your basement dry and free from further compromise. Old drain pipes need to be evaluated and replaced with current standards and sizes to accommodate stormwater drainage. A sump pump may need to be installed if the home is on level ground. Sump pumps give the extra energy to exit the water away from the basement foundation.

We have installed several drainage systems in Western North Carolina and the Asheville area and have a solution that will meet your needs and eliminate your basement leaks. We are a Certified Stormwater BMP Inspector. Call us today for a consultation.

A Wet Basement and The Causes

Are you wearing rain boots to the basement and in need of wet basement repair? If you’re under water or have been mopping up water in your basement, we can help alleviate the aggravation.  We will secure your foundation against more erosion and hydrostatic pressure against basement walls. Wet basements can be a sign of cracks in the foundation. Don’t wait until cracks show up in your basement. Follow these steps to ensure a dry basement and kick those boots off! 

A Wet basement and the Causes—

Grading towards the house can give concern to any homeowner and wreck havoc on the drainage. Some builders don’t take into consideration the flow of water off the roof and away from the foundation. For instance, this February mid-month (2016) we have already had an accumulation of rainfall measuring 3.52 inches. On a roof that covers an area 1500 sq.ft. multiply that number by 0.623 to find the quantity of wet basement repairswater in gallons for a one-inch depth and in a one square foot space.) The gallon total is 3289.44 gallons fallen on the roof since the beginning of February. That much water is falling down and into and around your foundation or out your gutter system. If the ground isn’t sloped correctly, it could be seeping into your crawlspaces or basement. Hence, wearing rain boots in the basement!

Downspouts that are filled with last year’s leaves and debris will certainly hold up the water flow. Bi-annual cleanouts are a must for checking good water flow and protecting your foundation and preventing wet basement repairs. After neglect, your underground water pipes could be clogged or crushed from improper installation. When installing drainage pipes, we assure initial haunching backfill by surrounding the pipes diameter. This provides primary support against lateral pipe deformation from the weight on the surface of the lawn.

We will examine the areas around your house to evaluate where the leakage is coming in and discuss a plan with you.  Be it grading away from the foundation or installing a French drain, we do it all. With the rains like we’ve had lately, many are in line for basement repairs. Call us for a consultation today! 828.774.1590.