Preventing Foundation Erosion

Damage to a home’s foundation is a serious issue that can be very costly in the long run. To avoid this problem, proper drainage and landscaping must be maintained. Along with gutter upkeep, adequate drainage from the downspout is needed to maintain water flow from your roof. This not only protects your foundation, but also helps prevent soil erosion and basement flooding.

Before installing anything in your yard, it is important to check your local building codes to ensure that your project isn’t in violation of any regulations. Also, have all utilities clearly marked to avoid accidentally cutting through underground lines.

The first step to diverting water flow is locating an acceptable area where the water can be redirected. Find a low-lying ditch or gravel pit at least 20 feet from the house’s foundation. Alternately, you can divert the water to the street curb, which is designed for drainage flow (just check with the city first, as sidewalk issues can occur).

Make sure the place where the water will come out is lower in elevation than the downspout and that the ground is sloped away from the downspout, so the water flow is guided by gravity. Then:

  1. Dig a trench between the downspout and water receptacle, making sure there is a constant downward slope.
    Dig a trench between downspout and receptacle
  2. Install a solid drainage pipe from the adaptor to the ditch.
    Large downspout adaptor installed into flex drainIMG_0076
  3. Cover the pipe with 4″ of coarse gravel and/or topsoil to protect and hide the pipe.
    French Drain picture (2)
  4. Tie multiple lines together as needed with T/Y fittings and couplers.
    T/Y fittings and Couplers

Result: Water is diverted from the downspout, which stops water from reaching your house’s foundation, eliminating erosion and reducing the risk of moisture-related foundation damage.

Alternatively, an aboveground drainage pipe could be installed in low-traffic areas. This is an uncomplicated solution that doesn’t require digging and is easy to move. It can be used to manipulate the flow of water toward trees, shrubs or bushes.

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