If you've been struggling with flooding on your property that's left you with pooling water along the foundation, you're going to need to make some changes that will help encourage water drainage. One of the easiest ways to do this is by installing drain tiles. Drain tiles will draw the excess water away from your house and help it to absorb into the ground beneath. Here's a look at what you need to know about installing and caring for your new drain tiles.
Start by Identifying the Problem Areas
Before you invest in tiles and install them somewhere that they aren't going to be helpful, you need to perform a complete assessment of your property. Wait for the next rainstorm, and when the rain stops, you'll want to take some wooden stakes outside and hammer them into the ground in every area where there's still standing water. If the water in those areas is still there after an hour or two, that's an indication that you're going to need drain tiles in those sections of the yard.
Standing water in any part of your property is problematic, because it can drown your plants and your grass. Additionally, it can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitos, which can be a serious health threat. Mark the area by placing stakes where there's standing water. You can map out your drainage tile path by tying rope to the stakes, connecting them together to see where you need to dig drainage trenches.
Develop Your Drainage Path
Once you've marked both the problem areas and the path where you want the water to drain, it's time to dig the drainage paths. Dig out the soil along each of the rope paths that you created. Make sure that the path is a few feet deep and about as wide so that you can install the tile. Then, flatten the channel bottom. Once the bottom is smooth, angle the sides inward so that the channel takes on a "U" shape with gently angled sides.
Remember that the goal of drain tile isn't to direct water flow elsewhere as much as it is to allow the water that's pooling on the surface to filter through the gravel and the drain tile gradually so that it soaks into the ground below instead of staying in a pool on the surface.
Fill the bottom of the channel with drainage gravel like crushed stone. Spread it evenly, then set the drainage tiles on top of the stone. Attach the tiles together using "T" connections. Position the "T" so that the longer stem points up. Then, place a drainage grid on the top of the "T" connectors.
Cover the Channel
Once you have drain tile in place and a drainage grid atop it, it's time to finish off the structure with a layer of crushed stone. You'll want it to be several inches deep and as level as you can get it. Then, fill in with equal parts sand and soil. Put enough sand and soil on it so that the ground is level. You don't have to worry about replacing grass over it. Grass will grow back over the drainage tile area naturally. You can even fill the whole thing in with just crushed stone and skip the sand and soil if you like the way that it looks. That eliminates the worry of grass growth entirely.
Maintaining the Drains
After every storm, inspect your drains carefully. Look for any indications of erosion or other damage. You'll also want to inspect it at the beginning of the rainy season to be sure that it's in good condition. Check the condition of the soil to ensure that everything is still level. If it's uneven or sitting below the ground level, that's a sign that you've got erosion happening underneath the soil. You'll need to reinforce the filler with more crushed stone to stop this.
Keeping your basement dry with drain tile will protect both your belongings and your family. It keeps mold and mildew at bay and even prevents some pests from taking up residence in your home. For more advice about installing drain tile, talk with a local landscaper or drainage specialist. Or check out a site like http://www.rite-waywaterproofing.com for more information.