Recently I was contacted regarding a problem with the Drainage on the side of their house. Unfortunately every time it rains they have water puddling on the side of the house and the area is wet for extended periods of time. Well I said we can fix that, but the hard thing was they has someone previously fix the problem and they had already paid to have the problem fixed once before. So needless to say my client was very skeptical and was not at all eager to pay for a job that they had previously paid for. However this client was a referral from another client that we had done drainage work for and they were so happy that we had fixed their drainage issues that they were eager to refer us our client to help them fix their problem. It’s a very gratifying feeling when someone refers you to their friends and family for work that they need done. But in this case it creates a little more pressure knowing that they had previously hired someone to do the work and that whatever we would agree to we would have to get it right and make sure that we fixed the problem.
So I have a theory when it comes to drainage control. Water always runs to the point of least resistance. Identify the source, create the path and fix the problem. There are 2 basic drainage issues. One is run off and the other is saturation. Run off is the direct flow of water that occurs during a rain or snow event and most of the time the correct solution is to use drains to collect the water and direct it where you want it to go. The other issue often faced in drainage control situations is saturation. This occurs when you may or may not know the source of the water but the ground in question accumulates the water and becomes saturated and in this situation we use French drains Using the right drainage solution for the given problem is important as we will discuss in a minute but particularly important in this situation.
So we began by dissecting the current situation and trying to determine why the current situation was not working and what the solution would be to get it right. There we 3 major reasons the current situation was failing:
- The Pipe had become collapsed and clogged.
- The Pipe Connections were coming apart.
- The Termination of the Pipe at the end Point was not clear and free flowing.
Box Drain For Capturing Water Runoff
The first problem was the use of corrugated drain pipe once thought to be the standard in non impact drainage situations is no longer our pipe of choice. We use crush resistant Schedule 35 Drain Pipe. The reason is very simple. First of all it is a smooth walled pipe compared to the ribbed corrugated pipe that is currently installed. The water flows freely in this pipe and is self-cleaning. The corrugated pipe has ribs that reduce water flow and become places for dirt and debris to accumulate. Over time this creates a potential obstruction for water to pass. Secondly over time roots and ground pressure can cause corrugated pipe to become clogged or collapse. On the other hand Schedule 35 Sewer and Drain pipe is crush resistant and cannot become infiltrated by roots and other objects. Thus making Schedule 35 Sewer and Drain a preferred choice.
Another reason for the failure of the current system is that the joint connections had come apart and were along dirt and debris to enter the pipe causing a clog in the system. On the other hand Schedule 35 Sewer and drain pipe connections are glued creating a stronger bond that is resistant to separation. The success of the drainage system is dependent on the materials used. Only slightly more expensive the use of Schedule 35 Sewer and Drain pipe is far superior in performance to the standard Corrugated Drain Tile.
French Drain to Capture Water Saturation
Finally the system failed because the termination of the System into the sewer was not clean and obstructed. It is critical than when terminating a system the pipe must be able to flow cleanly into the termination source and in this case it’s the sewer. Obstructed pipes either do not flow or create a backlog of the system defeating the purpose of the installed system.
So how did we fix the problem? Well we installed a new 18 x 18 drain box, a new French drain system and all corrugated pipe was replaced with Schedule 35 Sewer and Drain Pipe. This newly installed system will solve both the water runoff problem and the saturation problem our client experienced. The next time you need a contractor to solve your drainage problem it is important to select the right contractor.