How To Keep Water Away From Your Foundation

How to keep water away from your foundation.

One day of work to correct drainage issues around my house. Doing it myself saved me $1,400. Yep that is a price I was quoted over the phone.  Actually the guy quoted me $1,500…No freaking way. I did the work myself and all the parts cost me around $75. I had about 50 feet to drain the water so the pipe was the main cost.

When I moved into our new home I knew from experience that no house is perfect. I don’t care if you had it inspected by a professional home inspector it still will never be perfect. Homes are built by humans…enough said.

Drain water away from your house

Drain water away from your house

The drainage problem was discovered during one of our afternoon Spring rain storms. While it was raining I noticed two of the downspouts draining into what I thought was well prepared underground drains was backed up. The downspout flowed into the underground pipe and was literally overflowing and discharging all over the ground right at my home’s foundation. This is NOT good. No matter where you live water around the foundation is bad. Water penetration of any kid is bad for a home and excessive water around a foundation can be really bad over the long term. I have seen basement walls completely caved in by excessive water.

After the storm I realized it wasn’t a simple clog that needed to be removed. It was much worse. The builder and landscaper had been so nice to install an underground pipe that led from the downspout to the other side of my front sidewalk. I noticed the drain pipes before I purchased my home and assumed they lead out to a spot in the yard far away from the house.

Not so fast. Yes the pipes were installed but I soon figured out ,with a little digging, that the underground drain pipes ended 6 inches on the far side of my front sidewalk. They stopped dead in the mud so water was hitting the mud wall and backing up and overflowing at my foundation. I was bummed and immediately knew what I was going to have to do but totally dreaded digging the trench that was going to be needed.

How I corrected drainage problems around my house.

I highly recommend getting a trench shovel. They are much narrower than a regular shovel  so they remove less dirt which means less work.

I purchased Styrene drain pipe from Home Depot in the 3 inch size. That was luckily the size the builder or landscaper had already buried so it fit perfectly.

After completely digging a trench to the spot in my yard where the water can be discharged far away from the house I laid out the pipe. I highly recommend dry fitting all the pieces together first and making sure all your joints fit properly. Do that before cementing the pipe and of course before covering it up with dirt. Once you are confident all your fittings will work you will need to get pipe cleaner and pipe cement. FYI – I bought the smallest quantity Home Depot offered and I still have a lot left over.

Once I cleaned and cemented the joints together I let everything sit for about an hour. The cement says it dries quickly but I was 2 hours into this project and needed a break anyway.

Once it was dry and covered up by a stroke of luck it rained the next day. I ran outside and sure enough the water was flowing like a champ out the end of my new drain. I was stoaked. Now I have one less thing to worry about with this new house and I had a great feeling of accomplishment.

For my job I purchased 50 feet of pipe at $7.52 per 10 foot section. I also purchase the pipe cleaner and pipe cement. For the pipe fittings I only needed 2 and they cost about $1 apiece. I did also opt for a end pipe cover to keep mice and other varmints out of the pipe. I didn’t glue that on so I can easily pull it off to clean out potential clogs in the future.

My total savings on this do it yourself job was around $1,400 and I completed it in about 4 hours. I think it made my wife happy too since it got me out of the house.

I;m sure there are plenty other articles on the web about how to keep water away from your foundation but this is my story so I wanted to share.

Also read: Save Money With A Whole House Attic Fan