Hurricane season is upon us and typically we can look forward to some heavy rains during the next couple of months. Do you have issues with water running too close to your house or settling in a low area of your yard? If so, listen in to WBTV meteorologist Jim Lytle and Blue Max Materials' Mike Bishop for ideas on managing water in your yard.
Drainage problems are an issue for all of us, but there are some simple solutions to help solve many of the problems. For one, you may have a gutter that discharges too much water close to your house. An easy fix involves the use of a flip-up drainage emitter tied into your gutter system. To use this device, run drainage pipe from your downspout, burying it under your mulch or dirt, out to the point in the yard that can handle additional water. There, attach a flip-up emitter to the end of the pipe; the emitter works by allowing flowing water pressure to open a flapper top for discharge and then close to keep out pests. The emitter allows water to be directed to specific destinations in your yard instead of scattering randomly. You can even send your water to a rain garden!
Schematic of flip-up emitter by Oldcastle Drainage.
Another issue may involve the need to send water from your yard through a curb or edging into the street or other destination. In this case, a free-flow emitter would be more appropriate. A free-flow emitter performs the same function as a flip-up emitter by having a flap open to allow one-way water drainage out and then close to restrict access to the interior of the drainage system when water isn't running through it, thus keeping critters out of your pipes. The difference is in where it is used; as you can see in the drawing below, it is ideal for running through curbing or similar edging.
Sometimes you need to handle water flow in your yard or driveway itself by installing a drain and catch basin. Various styles and sizes are available to handle specific needs, but the concept remains the same: you install a catch basin with a drain cover in a low area of the yard so rainwater goes into it and then is dispersed through pipe to other areas more capable of soaking up the water.
Easy to install Jiff-E-Basin by Oldcastle Drainage.
Powder coated steel grates, color-coated to match all major paver colors, are especially appealing in pool deck or driveway applications where the typical black or white grate can be something of an eyesore and where sturdier construction to support vehicular traffic is necessary.
Powder coated steel grates by Oldcastle Drainage are available in natural colors to match pavers.
What happens when you have a driveway that slopes down to your garage and every time it rains the water flows under your garage door and gets the boxes or tools sitting on the garage floor all wet? Channel drains are a simple solution! They are long narrow drains, which again are available with powder coated, color matched grates that are inserted in your driveway close to the garage doors. Running water hits the channel drain before it gets to the garage and is "channeled away" into another part of your yard. Voilà! Problem solved!
Cross-section of a channel drain.
Not all drainage problems in your yard can be solved easily, but as we've seen, there are things you can do yourself to handle some water issues. For more complex issues, you may want to consult a professional.