If you’ve got basement dampness, or even worse, standing water in your basement it could be because your storm drainage system doesn’t move storm water away from your basement effectively enough. So, you might need to determine what basement storm drainage solutions are available and which one will best serve you.
The solution to exactly match your storm drainage problem might be a relatively easy one that any general DIY or home enthusiast can fix, or it might require the help of some specialists. The following are some of the likely causes of basement storm drainage problems and solutions to them.
Problems with Storm Drainage
There is rarely any single cause of problems with storm drains and basements. Whilst the commonest reason for the problem can simply be described as the storm drains allowing the water to drain too close to the property, the ‘lay of the land’ and the soil conditions will also have an effect.
For example, if your property is on a hill but the basement is towards the down-slope of the hill and you have well-drained soil – even having storm drainage discharging straight towards the basement might not be a problem. The storm water will naturally drain away due to gravity.
However, if you have poorly draining soil and/or do not live on slope – the chances of the water draining away of its own volition are small. The following are some solutions you can try for yourself and what to do if you need further help with the problem. Remember, when considering these options do take full regard as to the location of your property and the soil conditions.
Extend the Downspouts
Sometimes just making sure the gutter downspouts drain further way from the wall of your property can solve the problem. Presuming you’ve got the space, and without creating a problem for your neighbor, extend the ground level pipe work of the downspout to at least 10 feet away from the wall. This should be all that’s required if your property is on a slope and, of course, presuming the downspout follows a line downhill and away from the wall.
Add a French Drain
If extending the downspout doesn’t work on its own, or if you haven’t got room to implement that alteration – try installing a French drain in the run off area for the storm water. This will be particularly help if you’ve got soil that doesn’t drain naturally very well.
The French drain needs to extend for at least the length of the exterior wall(s) that are being affected by the poor storm drainage system and should extend at least 1 meter (3 feet) away from the wall(s); although the further you extend it outwards the better.
You need to excavate the area concerned to a depth of about 1 meter and create a slope away from the wall(s). Then fill the trench with varying grades of rubble. The bottom half of the trench can have coarse rubble of large stones or broken bricks, with the size of the rubble decreasing as you get near the top of the trench, finish it off with a layer of gravel or small decorative stones.
Create a Soak-away
If you have the land and feel a bit more adventurous you can create a soak-away at the same time as building a French drain. At the bottom of the trench place a perforated drain pipe; then simply excavate the ground away from the French drain and connect pipes to the perforated one that can carry the water further away from your property.
If your basement is in a hollow or if you’ve got extremely poor soil drainage you might need to have a Footing drain installed. This will require excavating below the basement level to install the drain.
If this is required you might prefer to call in the experts as you’ll need to be wary of not undermining the foundations of the property. If you’re capable of handling the job yourself, hiring a mini-excavator is to be recommended.